Phoenix Comicon wrapup

I’m finally to the point where I don’t expect to see stormtroopers and superheroes on my way to and from work, so I figure it’s a good time to talk about Phoenix Comicon. In a word…awesome.

The event at the Poisoned Pen bookstore, organized by the indefatigable Kevin Hearne, was excellent. The authors had dinner beforehand at Beckett’s Table, a darn nice place to nosh, then decamped to the bookstore and were greeted by dozens of fans already there. I signed a bunch of books and talked with cool people. Good times.

The con itself was very well organized and they took very good care of us. Pickup at the airport, volunteers greeting us at the hotel as we checked in, excellent guest services (including free breakfast and lunch), you name it. Seriously, I’ve never been treated better at a con. The staff and volunteers were most excellent people, and they worked hard to make it easy for us.

I thought the panels were interesting and fun. We may have been a little punchy by Sunday morning, but hey, it’s entertaining. I loved the notion of having a signing lounge — with books for sale — right after a panel. The marketing guy in me really appreciated the potential for impulse purchases, and it worked; I signed more books at this con than ever before. So on the business end of things, when it came to spreading the word about my work and making book sales, it was an unabashed success. Amy Black deserves credit for taking over the author track and doing a great job, and Sam Sykes worked hard as a liaison between the con and our fellow authors. You both rock.

Hanging out with fellow authors is a big part of this too. Sure, we can call it “networking,” and yes, there’s a bit of that happening, but really it’s just hanging out with fantastic people and smiling so much that my face hurt the next day. There are too many great folks to name here, but I do want to give a shout-out to Jason M. Hough, Django Wexler and Beth Cato — you may have seen their blurbs on my books — as well as Chuck Wendig, who’s so generously let me take over his digital real estate from time to time. They are truly fine humans. Buy their books. It was a pleasure to see them, and all my fellow ink-stained wretches.

Finally…fans. You guys are great. I already blogged about Nathan, whom many of us adopted last weekend for buying all our books. Seriously, he’s riding back home with a car FULL OF BOOKS. But there were many others who gushed about my work, and whose positive energy I now store as writer-fuel to persevere in the dark days and months ahead. And I signed many books for many kind people, which never ever gets old.

It was particularly nice to meet A.B. Keuser and her husband Earl. She’s been following me on Twitter since the very beginning, and she’s a most excellent person. You should follow her, check out her books, all of it.

So there you go. I had a great time. There were panels and signings and fans, authors and tacos and drinks. I played in a charity poker tournament and lost quite enjoyably. I worked out next to Lou Ferrigno and talked Doctor Who with Paul Cornell (who is seriously the nicest guy ever). It was a blast.

Will repeat. See you there next year!


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