Short version: That was incredibly super fun. Will repeat.
But hey, I think we can do better, right?
Phoenix Comicon has one of the best author/books tracks of any major convention I’ve been to. So what makes it the best, you ask? For one, there are a ton of great authors writing a dizzying array of diverse works. Two, the topics of the panels are usually pretty interesting and thought-provoking. Third, the con puts our books on sale right next door to the panels, and the marketer in me loves that impulse-buy opportunity.
But mostly, it’s the fans. The folks in the audience at all of my panels were super-smart and incredibly engaged. Their questions were thoughtful and really kept us all on our toes. The resulting conversations were informative to me, and I hope they were to everyone who came.
The fans are the biggest reason I go, and y’all are really generous with your time and encouragement of my work, and I try to do the same with whatever you got going on, too. For the first time, I had someone in the audience at a panel actually reference parts of my books as an example that I didn’t even think of — and I didn’t even know who he was, let alone did I bribe him. So that was lovely.
And now some more highlights in now particular order!
I met a ton of new folks this time. Newly minted Nebula winner Alyssa Wong is such a terrific person, and her writing is just insanely beautiful and fierce and so good. We fenced with lightsabers at a signing, which made me feel like a teenager again. I also got to meet and hang out with Dan Wells and Howard Tayler, both incredibly talented and very funny gentlemen. We had the pleasure of introducing them to the pleasures of Taco Guild. If you’re ever in Phoenix, eat there. So delish.
Alexandra Oliva and Paige Orwin both have debut novels coming out! Alexandra’s is The Last One, and Paige’s is called The Interminables. Both are out in July, and both are worthy of your book-buying dollars. Plus, they’re both fine, upstanding humans. I was very happy to meet them both.
Brandon Sanderson is, of course, an amazing author as well as a gracious person and a great guy to panel with; when he complimented the premise of MJ-12: Inception in the middle of a panel, I nearly plotzed. Scott Sigler is funny as all get out, and really knows his stuff and helped make a bit of a rudderless panel something really memorable. Sarah Remy, Patrick Hemstreet, Greg van Eekhout, Jamie Wyman, Brad Beaulieu, Adam Christopher…it was a pleasure to meet them and geek out together on panels and over beers and tacos.
And then there are those folks I was happy to see again. Beth Cato remains one of my favorite people, and authors, and her baked goods are made with love and a whole lot of buttery goodness. And I saw Django Wexler! Jason M. Hough! Brian McClellan! Sam Sykes! David Wohlreich! Amy Keuser! And a special shout out to Kevin Hearne, who remains so very generous to seemingly everyone he meets, and who organizes stuff like Elevengeddon and Taco Guild expeditions. He’s such a great guy, it’s almost scary.
It was also great to meet Chelsea Mueller and Christina Vanoverbeke, the fantastic folks behind Geeky Giving. I’m really looking forward to what comes next with that great charity. And speaking of, Christina won a raffle at Drinks With Authors (which benefited Kids Need to Read), which means I get to kill her in a book. Well, I get to kill a character named Christina Vanoverbeke. It’s all good. I’m thinking nuclear weapon. We’ll see.
I also got to give away some books at the Worldbuilders booth. Really love doing stuff with them, and already looking forward to the auctions next autumn.
Finally, Danie Hermes organizes the books-and-authors track at PHXCC, and did a fantastic job. She rocks.
There’s a ton more, and I’m sure I forgot some people and some stuff. I’m going to blame jet lag, because I didn’t get home until 1:30 a.m. last night. But suffice it to say, it was a great time.
And once more, thank you to all the fans who came out. Thank you to everyone who asked me to sign their books and said such nice things about them. As I’ve said before, that stuff is writer fuel, and I really appreciate it.