I’m home!

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I spent the weekend surrounded by wookiees, stormtroopers, manga babes, all of the Watchmen and various incarnations of the Doctor. No, I didn’t curl up on the couch and watch DVDs in my living room – I went to Dragon Con. I wasn’t on the program, so I was free to see panels and shop and have fun. I met my editor Stacy Hague-Hill, who is just phenomenally cool. She gave me free books! I had a lovely long private chat with her, then went to dinner with her and some other editors and authors from Tor (Hi AJ, Heather, Jody Lynn, Laura, Paul and Walter! *waves) I managed to strongarm gently persuade some wonderful authors and editors to be our guests on Magical Words somewhere down the line, so keep a weather eye open for those appearances. I also met James Marsters (the actor who played Philip McAvery in the movie in my head) and gave him a copy of Mad Kestrel…and no, I neither fainted nor became speechless. (At least I’m told, by a reliable witness who was standing next to me, that I sounded like a perfectly reasonable grownup. *laughs*) Despite not being on the program, I feel that I got a good deal of work done for myself.

When you publish your first book, you have to give a good deal of thought to your own networking and publicity. Most new authors don’t generate the buzz that warrants a huge advertising budget, or any at all. It’s up to us to handle our own networking and take advantage of every opportunity that might steer our work toward more readers. Book signings are nice ways to dip your toe in the personal appearance pool, even though they don’t generate much in the way of sales. Using the various internet social networking tools is great, since you can reach lots of people without even putting your shoes on. I’ve done a couple of interviews using Skype, so that I didn’t have to drive anywhere, nor did anyone else have to come to me. And then there are cons. Cons are busy and noisy and lots of fun. If you’ve come to the right kind, you’ll find yourself surrounded by readers hungry for new books, ready to buy yours. If the con you attend isn’t so book-focused, though, you’ll have to slap on your game face and put your hand out. I spent the weekend marching up to folks who didn’t know me, introducing myself and then telling them what it was I wanted. I was polite, but I wasn’t shy. I had to promote myself, because otherwise I’d just have been a short, middle-aged lady in a sea of far-more-interestingly-dressed people.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go rest this hand. The one that touched James Marsters. *blissful sigh*

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15 comments to I’m home!

  • Happy dancing! (Do I get to see the hand?)

  • A couple of folks have already asked, “What if he reads it and wants to play the part?” I can’t think about that – it was hard enough just to hand the thing to him! *laughs*

  • Beatriz

    This is a great lesson in networking and expanding your own comfort zone.

    So glad you got to meet The Man Who Should Be McAvery!

  • So glad you were there to catch me! 😀

  • Marsters has always seemed like a pretty cool guy to just hang out with. Always felt that if I got the chance, through showbiz or wherever, It’d be fun to go get a beer with the guy. Well, I’ll drink cider…he can drink the beer.

    Wrote the beginnings of a script a while back that I thought he could play the lead in.

    If you ever wanna think about Mad Kestrel going into film let me know. I’ve got some experience writing in screenplay format. 😉

  • I think he would be a great person to hang out with – I only spoke to him for a moment, but he seemed very real and pleasant. I want to someday have a drink with Bruce Campbell, too. 😀

    And thanks for the offer. I have less than zero experience with screenplays (only what little Faith once told me long ago.) Not that anything will happen. Wait, I’m thinking about it again! Noooo! Must not go there!!

    *laugh*

  • Oh, isn’t James lovely? I’ve met him several times (years ago now, he wouldn’t remember), and he’s just a delightful man.

  • He really is! I just hope that the look on his face was one of gratitude for the book and the gesture, and not the beginnings of panic. *hee*

  • Beatriz

    Nope. It was gratitude and amazement. He seemed genuinely touched with what he heard. Trust me, I was watching him carefully because if he’d been ugly, I was gonna leap across the table and slug him. I can do that, ya know. I’m from Joisey. *buffs nails against her chest*

  • Bea, have I mentioned how much I freakin’ adore you? 😀

  • I would’ve jumped him, hogtied him, and ran out the hotel to the nearest getaway car. But that’s just me. The evil me. 😉 Glad you had a blast at DragonCon.

  • Misty, I went to the con specifically to meet writers, publishers, and editors. The writing panels had good turnouts, and I know the Sherrilyn Kenyon stuff was just as packed as those of a lot of the actors. I didn’t get a chance to see if it was the same for Charlaine Harris, but I’m sure it was. I think it is safe to say that *some* authors have achieved a status that draws people to the cons to see them.

    Also, I think the beauty of D*C is that it is really a cheaper alternative to the high-dollar writers’ conferences. You can get a lot of face time with editors and writers there. I sat in on at least two panels in which your Tor editor was there. Toni Weiskopff (sp?) of Baen was there and another Tor editor whose name I’ve forgotten was there. So, while everyone else is checking out the Sci-Fi media stuff, you can get a great deal accomplished if you are purely interested in the writing track. I totally recommend it in that vein.

    Also, I think it’s funny that a bunch of gamers apparently started the con (at least according to Sean Patrick Fannon, who says he was involved in the startup), but gaming very much takes a backseat there. I didn’t even bother to look for a game, as what was listed seemed pitiful–with a few exceptions. I couldn’t even find a copy of the new Supernatural game at the con. I think that’s sad for a con of its size.

    Christina

  • Marcia said, I would’ve jumped him, hogtied him, and ran out the hotel to the nearest getaway car.

    Marcia, you are a naughty lady, and I love it! ;D

  • Very cool that you got to meet Spike. Always one of my favorites. I had a bad experience with D*Con years ago. Made my reservations and drove down only to find that they had forgotten to put me on ANY panels or reading slots or signing slots. So basically I spent a lot of money to stay at the hotel and do nothing professionally. And it was long enough ago that I didn’t have the wherewithal to go with it and make something of a lost weekend. Good for you for being so bold and proactive. I’m not sure I could do that even now.

  • t

    I’m a reader and only went to Dragon Con for the authors. Sat in panels and such and people watched. So take heart…the fans of books are there.

    Only TVish thing i attended was the hour with C Harris (for the sookie books) but it was packed with alot of very adoring fans of True Blood. It was fun. You can def tell those who have read the books vs only watching the show…that seemed to determine everyone’s fav male character. Hotly contested disagreement that was too.

    And you got to touch Spike…oh man! I envy you.