Dragoncon, Day V


As always, the end of Dragoncon brings both pain and relief. It is sad to say farewell to the friends we see only once a year, to come down from the mountaintop where we can talk about the things we love with people who understand us. And to make money. Don't forget the money.

It is a relief, however, to know that soon we can return to regular meals and full nights of sleep.

In the meantime, it's the clusterfuck of trying to get out along with 47,000 of your closest friends. The Hilton gets an A-plus from the Dragon Ladies for its service this year, but the elevators were insane. There was a group on the 25th floor that waited more than two hours for an elevator. In my elevator, someone was singing "Hotel California" - you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

Speeding along, I went to my signing. As expected, there were 29481210 people in line for Laurell and four for me. At least there were that many! Jeff Pagliei delivered my errant money bag and Dana managed to get free of the Hilton elevators to arrive with the Tardis Box of Books just as I ran out of NOCTURNEs.

In all, I'm happy to say ABADDON sold out at Dragoncon. The other books, however, did not sell nearly as well. Dragoncon's profit margin has always been slim, but it's worth it nonetheless for promotional purposes. There's something about con that is so invigorating about the creative process. Writing is a solitary occupation - you're talking to yourself in a room, making up imaginary friends that fight, fuck and die for your amusement. But at con, you get to interact with other people who know your imaginary friends. It's remarkably gratifying and reminds you to work harder, dammit!

After all was said and done, I bid farewell to Dana and Anne, then the Shanes, who agreed to drive the Tardis Box (as well as the katana I bought my son) back to Illinois for me. I want to thank my wonderful roommates, even the exhaustingly energetic Shanes, for their companionship and fun. P.S. It was Shane II who snores.

Thanks also to Vernard, who heard that I had about five hours to kill between end-of-con and my flight, so he picked me up, took me to dinner and whisked me away to the Den of Iniquity. ;) He also took me to the airport, saving me having to wrangle my sixty-pound Monstro suitcase, Rolling Red Bag of Doom and carry-on through MARTA hell.

Thanks to all the readers and friends who bought my books and listened to me yammer. Thanks to the track directors who come up with smart stuff for us to talk about, and the marching legions of volunteers who make it happen. Thanks to the fellow panelists who let me crack stupid jokes and throw chocolate at the audience.

Finally, my biggest thank-you and an enormous round of applause to Dana, my wonderful handler*. She hauled the Tardis Box halfway across the world and back more times than I can tell you. She sacrificed things she wanted to do in order to stand by my side and help me hawk books. She wandered the lines passing out cover cards and never complained at the thirty-seventh, "Dana, would you mind..." She was probably responsible for half my sales. Also, she doesn't snore or hog the covers.

Ladies and gentlemen, Dana Franks. Give her a hand, would you? She sure-hell gave me one.

* We apparently prefer "handler" to "flunky," "slave" or even the more professional "assistant" these days.


  1. Thank you, sweetie. You know I love doing it. Might retire the TARDIS box, tho. ;)

  2. Next year: rolling cart. I swear. :)


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