So, I will attending WorldCon in San Antonio at the end of the month, though I won’t be appearing on any panels. Given the size and scope of this thing, I am absolutely fine with that. There will be a reading for Rayguns Over Texas on Saturday, followed by a signing for the anthology, and I intend to be on hand for that. But that’s not anything official. I am happy– thrilled– to simply attend and drink up the atmosphere and see fellow writers and meet new people.
A big part of that is due to the simple fact that most of the people in this industry are fantastic people, both the ones that I’ve met and become friends with, and the ones I’ve only had minimal interaction with.
For example, a college friend of mine, who is in the process of medical school right now, also was accepted to Clarion West this past summer. He had applied to Clarion mostly as a hail-Mary, and was pleasantly surprised to be accepted. The problem, though, was he wasn’t sure if he could swing both it and his academic duties. He contacted me, worried that if he had to turn it down, he’d be blackballed. This, apparently, was what he had experienced in medical school– if you were accepted into a sub-internship, turning it down was career suicide. I was pretty sure it would be fine, of course the Clarion people knew that taking six weeks off from the other responsibilities of life was something few people could manage. But I wanted to confirm, and I asked around, asking writers who I knew had been involved in Clarion, even if my own interaction with them had been minimal. And every one responded quickly and courteously. And, of course, they all agreed: everyone involved in Clarion would understand perfectly.
Here’s another example. A few months ago, after I finished reading Boneshaker, I did a small amount of research on Cherie Priest, which made me realize that I had had an inside-baseball-business-of-writing question that she might have some insight on. So I emailed her with my random-yet-rather-specific question. In less than 24 hours, she not only responded, but with a long and well-considered answer. Did she have to do such a thing? Of course not, but she did, even though such a response would have easily taken a half an hour out of her day. Why? Because she’s good people.
The list could go on. I have sung praises of Stina Leicht to the sky, of course. There’s plenty more I could name. Julie Kenner and Kimberly Frost, for example, who both read multiple drafts of query letters for me. Matthew Bey, who dropped my name when invites were going around for Rayguns, and Rick Klaw, who was open to that despite having only met me in passing.*
I bet you every single one of those people have some story of someone who paid forward to them. And I have every intention to do the same.
So, if you spot me at WorldCon, come say hello. Promise I won’t bite.
*- Not to mention, you know, accepting my story into the anthology.