This was my first time at the World Fantasy Con and my first panel ever! Chandra Rooney, me, Marissa Lingen (moderator), John Pitts. Dan Wells was a no-show. We guessed travel problems, since this was the first panel of the conference.
Doesn’t this description sound like someone wanted a doozy of a fistfight? Our very wise moderator had already blogged that she’d have none of that, so I liked her even before I met her. She was very articulate and smooth and kept it all going.
I was concerned that we’d only have a handful of audience members, but the room filled and people had to stand in the back. This is a photo of it before it started. There is another section to the left that you can’t see in the photo, but trust me, when it’s your first panel and you look out there and see every seat filled, it looks like a lot of people.
People liked the panel, yea! Several of us went out for coffee with some audience members who were also writers. That night I went to the wonderful Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego where WFC authors were invited to do an informal meet and greet. One of the owners, Maryelizabeth Hart was so gracious to me, helping get the chapter sampler giveaways of STARTERS set up by the register. If you are in SD or Redondo Beach, stop in and enjoy the warm atmosphere.
At MG, I met a sister Apocalypsie, the multi-talented Leanna Renee Hieber (wearing proper Victorian garb) and bought a copy of her beautiful book, DARKER STILL. She connected me with author Jenn Reese (who also does martial arts!) as I knew no one at this conference (my friends had all gone to the Reno Worldcon).
The next night Jenn drove several of us to see the Diversity in YA panel at the Poway public library. Her friend, Greg van Eekhout, was one of the panelists, along with (from the left) Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Cinda Williams Chima, Holly Black and Karen Healey. What a powerhouse group filling the need for a panel like this. A lot of teens and middle graders were there, buying books and asking questions, and there was a lot of laughter, especially when one asked, “What’s a eunuch?” I loved meeting everyone, but I’d been a fan of Holly’s writing for so long. And it’s so satisfying when the author you’ve admired turns out be a truly nice person. A funny coincidence — we were both wearing shoes from the same Canadian shoemaker!
My trip was capped off with a wonderful dinner meeting with my German publisher. But more about that later – we’ve got news (shhh).