We are home safe from another magnificent Shore Leave. I've been to this convention 16 times, including each of the past 15 of them (in 1992, and then from 2000 forward), and I've always
had a great time.
I'm too tired to do a full con report, but the high points included:
A Boogie Knights concert that was pretty good despite the best efforts of Conventional Magic, who borked our sound yet again, including not adjusting the mics depending on who was singing lead (even though we provided them with a sound map so they could do that). That was one of many sound issues throughout the con, sadly. Still, we had fun and so did the audience, which is the important part. We even dragged out some songs we haven't done in ages, like "Lycanthrope in Love" and "One Small Ring."
A hugely successful Meet the Pros, in which I sold many many books (including all the copies of The Klingon Art of War
that I brought -- the book dealer also sold out of their copies of KAOW
) and signed many autographs and gave away a lot of Kickstarter cards and Sleepy Hollow
business cards. Indeed, the general response over the weekend to both The Klingon Art of War
(from people who'd bought and/or read it) and Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution
(from people who either already knew it was coming and especially those who didn't
know about it until they learned of it from me this weekend) was phenomenal
. Very very gratifying and encouraging and stuff.
After MTP, a bunch of us got together and showed our baseball plumage:
Top row (l.-r.): Wrenn Simms (Phillies), Allyn Gibson (Nationals), Zan Rosin (Phillies), Ariel Vitali and Lisa Stuckey (Dodgers), and Phil Giunta (indeterminate).
Bottom row: me (Yankees) and Bob Greenberger (Mets).
A packed reading/Q&A in which I read from Children of the Revolution
and took questions about various and sundry things. They scheduled it for Friday at 4pm, and I was worried no one would show. The opposite happened: I got my biggest crowd ever for one of those things, and one of the biggest audiences of the weekend.
A fun Match Game
, in which they overbooked the contestants, so Steven H. Wilson, Bob Greenberger, and I were a three-headed monster taking turns as one of the contestants. We billed ourselves as the Marx Brothers: Groucho, Harpo, and Karl.
Lots of fun time hanging out with my fellow authors and friends and such. At one point, Wrenn and I sat in the lounge outside the bar and were joined at various times by about twenty different people (not all at the same time) just sitting and chatting and having a fantastic time.
Some excellent panels: me, Greg Cox, Aaron Rosenberg, and Jeff Lang espousing on the differences between an original tie-in novel and a novelization; me, Greg, and Peter David on why people still read movie novelizations; me, Jen Rosenberg, and Russ Colchamiro talked about social media for writers; me, Dave Mack, Kirsten Beyer, Mike McPhail, Christopher Bennett, and T. Eric Bakutis (who, BTW, is an excellent moderator) on writing action scenes; and me, Eric, Melissa Scott, and Jo Graham on fantasy without modern measurement.
A well attended self-defense workshop, in which everyone did very well. In particular one guy (a jiu-jitsu practitioner) complimented me afterward for being the first person he'd seen do one of these who actually gave useful self-defense techniques. I honestly think he went there expecting to trash me, and was pleasantly surprised when he couldn't. We had a good talk afterward.
Fine dinners with my fellow authors at Silver Spring and Andy Nelson's -- the latter a superb BBQ place (one that even midwesterners Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore liked) -- in which much joyous conversation and enjoyment was had. A high point was Kirsten Beyer telling me how much she loved writing President Nan Bacco.
I didn't see much of the actor guests -- I rarely do, honestly -- but I did get to talk a bit with Teryl Rothery (Dr. Frasier on Stargate SG-1
), who is a delight. Also Eve Myles (Gwen on Torchwood
) hugn out in the bar and in Ten Forward Saturday night (and was rather hung over for her Sunday Q&A).
Two other magnificent things this weekend:
In my author bio I wrote, "Keith R.A. DeCandido is surprised and appalled to realize that this is his 15th consecutive Shore Leave. He thinks he deserves some kind of prize, and urges the con com to get right on that."
I didn't think anybody actually read
those things, but the con com (notably Inge Heyer, the
motherfucking con chair) did read it, and I was made the Shore Leave bunny for the weekend, an honor that was presented to me (in the form of bunny ears) right before the Boogie Knights concert.
And then there was Diane Bellomo, a Shore Leave regular and a fan of my work, who made a whole bunch of stickers of varying sizes with "STINKBURGER CHEF
" on them. I put one on my name card and one on my badge. This also lead to me quoting the mighty Ed Zimmerman's review of V-Wars
all weekend, of course.......
As ever a great show. I'm sure I left something out, but that's only because I'm overwhelmed by the awesome. We should totally do this again next year!!!!!!!
Current Mood: tired
Current Music: "I Need a Man" by Eurythmics