This AnthroCon was probably one of the busiest conventions I’ve attended, simply from the standpoint of the travel to and from and the fact that pretty much every minute I was doing things. It wasn’t quite as hectic as last year, when I felt like I was fifteen minutes late to everything, but there were fewer social obligations: I was going to see the Sofawolf guys after the con, Blotch was not in attendance, and I got to spend like five hours with Rukis on panels, so I really only had one business-y dinner to arrange, which was good because I only had one dinner free during the con.
Because I was ferrying a bunch of things to AC and my friend Trem in Colorado was driving things to someone along the way, we decided to drive together. So I flew to Denver Wednesday morning (after seeing Queen with Adam Lambert the night before, which was just a delight) and we took off across Kansas. The next day we stopped on his errands and made it to Pittsburgh around 10:30 at night. I have family in the area and other family driving in to visit, so we met up with them and dropped off more of our cargo Thursday night.
Friday I went to the dealer’s room early because I thought it opened at 10 (that is what the mobile app said), so I was there like at 8:15 (which I will remind you all is 5:15 California time) and signed all the at-con pickup pre-orders of “Uncovered” (and other things) and helped Sofawolf set up. Got to see a bunch of my friends whom I hadn’t seen since Furry Fiesta (when I was jet lagged from India) and sat down at 11:45 for the dealer’s room to open.
At 2:15 my signing line was finally exhausted and I got a short break. But literally within a minute of me sitting down again, someone came up for a signing and another line formed. Thanks to all of you who came by to chat, to buy a book, to get a signature on something else–it was a terrific time and I enjoyed myself immensely whenever I was at the Sofawolf booth.
Also Friday, Chandra came over to give me the jerseys he’d had made. Many of you saw them around the con; I’d given him permission to make a small batch and he in turn handed over all the specs for his jerseys. They came out great and in a later post I will show pics and talk more about them, but really, getting those jerseys was one of the highlights of the con.
My panels went from 7 to midnight with an hour break, so there really wasn’t time to get dinner between the dealer room close at 6 and the first panel at 7 (I wanted to catch Fox Amoore’s release of “Come Find Me” at 5 and just got stuck). So I chilled for a bit and then joined Rukis, Deuce, and Trejaan for a reading from Rukis’s book, “Off the Beaten Path,” the first volume of which came out at this con.
It’s a good story, if you haven’t seen it on FA (furaffinity.net/user/rukis). The characters are distinctive and engaging and the action is well written and fun. I voiced Puquanah (Puck), an arctic fox healer, while Deuce voiced a lawman husky and Trejaan voiced a trapper coyote and some other minor roles. Rukis did the narration and the main character Shivah’s voice. We had a great time and I think it went over pretty well.
At 8 I read two sections from “Uncovered.” Usually I prefer to read from not-yet-published work, but this was a release panel, so I picked an early scene for Dev, from Chapter One, and a later scene for Lee (from Chapter Seven). Dev’s is lighter in tone but I think they both worked well.
Deuce was kind enough to get sandwiches for all of us who were going to miss dinner because PANELS, so at 9, Rukis and I and some friends sat out in the hallway and ate and talked writing until the fireworks went off at 9:30. The show lasted pretty much half an hour (great fireworks!), so we hurried back in when they were done to talk about Adult Fiction from 10-12. That’s always a fun panel–Ashe and Ianus joined me and Rukis and we all had a good time and the two hours flew by.
Saturday I hurried to the dealer’s room opening at ten (it was ten this time) and met M.C.A. Hogarth for the first time, there to sign her new book, “The Godson’s Triumph,” the conclusion to the “Godkin Griffin” story. If you’re not aware of them, you should be: they’re exciting and full of life, mythology, sharp characters and wondrous settings. Micah left at 11:30 but I stayed until 3:15 to sign books, then went upstairs to my 3:30 panel, “Submit and Publish,” with Micah and Teiran. We all have somewhat different experience in writing and publishing–Teiran works for FurPlanet, Micah mostly self-publishes her work, and I publish print through Sofawolf and FurPlanet and do my own e-books. So we had a lot to talk about and a lot of questions over the hour.
After that, I ran downstairs to drive to a dinner with my family, which was followed by a visit to the family home, and then I was dropped off at the convention center at 8:50, whereupon I ran upstairs to my 9 pm panel. Micah and I talked about novels and novel writing, and again, we have some similar experiences and some different: most notably, she works on one novel and just writes it straight through and finishes very quickly; I work on several projects at a time and take a little more time to get a draft done.
Ianus joined us at 10 to talk about “Dark and Difficult Topics,” a panel I’d never done before, about how (and whether) to write about, well, difficult, sensitive topics. Rape, fatal illness, death, and depression, among other topics, were covered, and the only bad part of the panel was that at 11:05 we realized that although the program book said “10-12,” the grid said “10-11” and another panel had been slotted in at 11 because the room looked free. So we adjourned, but we panelists and three other interested attendees talked out in the hallway for another 45 minutes, before two GSDs arrived to escort me back to my hotel. It turned out that Rion, one of Micah’s friends who’d been very engaged with the panels and discussions, was going back to their car and we were worried because it was dark, so we all escorted them to the car and then went back to the hotel. And in our hotel there was a party thrown by some Aussies, which I knew would be a great time, so I went down there and hung out for another hour.
Sunday, Teiran and I had a 10 am panel talking about fantasy, which actually grew in attendance as the morning wore on. Then I camped out at the Sofawolf booth until closing time at 4, and went upstairs for my last panel, the Audience Participation Storytelling event, where Ianus, Fugue and I sat up front and took suggestions from the audience as to a character, a profession, a setting, and one or two more hints we needed to tell a story, and then made something up on the spot. Laura Garabedian stood next to us with an easel sketching the scenes as we invented them, resulting in some hilarious drawings which you might be able to see pictured on the web soon. :)
Sunday night after dinner Trem and I realized we had to pack because we had to leave Monday morning early to get me to Minnesota, where he was to drop me off and then drive home to Colorado. So that was my Sunday.
And the trip to Minnesota was pretty uneventful except for a dead battery we had to replace, but AutoZone did it in twenty minutes and then we were on the road again. Got into St. Paul at about quarter to eleven.
I’ve spent the last couple days signing more books at Sofawolf HQ (Trem got home okay). Tonight I get to go home and see my wolf again, so my tail is wagging for that, but also because it’s just been a tremendously fun week. Once again, thank you everyone for buying the book and for coming to the Sofawolf booth and for coming to the panels. You guys kept me waggy all weekend.
Next up: Comic-Con in a week and a half, and then WorldCon and Eurofurence in August! Stay tuned!