Now that was very much what I want a con to be like.
Maybe it was coming to ArmadilloCon– my hometown con– both with a certain comfort level as well as two books on the market, but I really had a fantastic time at this one.
The Writers’ Workshop was my primary “work” for this con, of course, and being the one running it was my new level of responsibility– my next step of “do something daunting”. I feel the whole thing went very well, though, and I heard plenty of positive feedback from both teachers and students.
The rest was something of a whirlwind of panels and bar chats and signing books. Saw many great people I don’t get to see often enough: Stina Leicht, Amanda Downum, Skyler White, Michelle Muenzler (she of the infamous cookies), Dantzel Cherry, Derek Johnson, Martin Wagner, Patrice Sarath, Nicky Drayden, Rick Klaw, etc.* I met in person people I had only interacted with online, like Caroline Yoachim and K.B. Rylander, and met brand new awesome people, like Ken Liu, Justin Landon, Wesley Chu**, and Marguerite Reed. If you get the chance to see Marguerite on a panel sometime, somewhere, I highly recommend it.
I signed books– the dealers room sold out of Murder of Mages and had only one Thorn in stock when I left. I read from Murder and debuted the opening of The Alchemy of Chaos in my reading. At least one person in the room immediately went to Amazon and pre-ordered.
Stina was the Toastmaster for this con– and did a bang up job of it if I do say so myself– and as is the tradition for ArmadilloCon, the Guest of Honor bios are written by other people. I was asked to do Stina’s, so that was another Slightly Daunting Task that I had. (Of course, that was well finished by the time the con rolled around.) But Stina loved her bio, especially in how I had (utterly inadvertently) paralleled William’s Rolling Stone article in the movie Almost Famous, which is one of her favorite movies. That mattered the most to me.
I also met several aspiring professional writers who I see a lot of promise in. One thing I love about ArmadilloCon, and I saw it even more so this time, is it is a con that is not only highly SF-Lit focused, but one that is very friendly to the aspiring professional. This is an important thing, I think, in helping the field grow. It’s why things like running the workshop and running it well matter to me.
To those people, remember what I said about myself: I went to that workshop for the first time in 2005, and got my manuscript covered in red ink. And now I’ve got two books out, two more on the way, and many more intended. The mountain can be climbed.
So now, it’s back to the Word Mines. I kind of had a “week off” after delivering Import of Intrigue to recover and prep for the con, but now it’s time to get back to work. Book Three in the Thorn saga needs to get cracked into, after all. No laurel resting here.
*- I’ve surely forgotten to list many in my post-con haze.
**- OK, I had actually met Wes before, but this time I got to actually talk to him.