Walkin' in Memphis

Midsouthcon was held this past weekend in a strange Escher-like hotel with ramps and staircases leading to nowhere in particular. I have to say, it was a neat environment, even if the hotel policies annoyed me to no end. But this is not the place to gripe. Also, bourbon is evil.

Instead, I'll tell you something interesting that happened in Memphis. I had just finished a panel on pulp fiction in which I was completely and utterly faking it - no idea what the hell I was talking about, but I've never yet missed an assigned panel, so I wasn't about to start.

As I left the panel, I nearly bumped into a woman arriving for the WATCHMEN panel. She stopped and said, "Oh, I LOVE YOU!"

This threw me off my step just a tad, and grinning, I stopped. She pointed at me and said, "SETTING SUNS!"

Squee. You know, sometimes I still think SETTING SUNS is my favorite book. About half the stories seem horribly amateurish to me now and it's been out for years so just about everyone who was ever interested in my work has it. But it's my first paperback, and it's the best introduction to my work yet - it has a little bit of everything I like. Don't get me wrong, I love the vampire fans. But when I meet someone who loves SETTING SUNS, it makes a big difference.

And they aaaaaall love the teddy bear.

We chatted for a bit, and I let her know I have ABADDON this year in print and DREADMIRE is on its way. Onward to the rest of the con, in which every panel I was on devolved from whatever subject was intended into the state of the publishing industry and how everything is changing and none of us has the slightest idea what's going to happen next. I think we were all on a three-day oh-shit bender.

Not that you could tell from the dealer's room, where books were moving fast. Of course, there were tons of publishers and booksellers - MSC is really becoming WriterCon, I have to say. We usually don't have this much competition. Even so, our books were flying. Well, those of my colleagues. And of other authors. And Pocky. Not so much glow necklaces.

And not so much my stuff. I was really shocked, because ABADDON won the Darrell Award at last year's MSC and it wasn't out in print now, and here it was at three bucks off cover price but I couldn't move it. It was pretty depressing. The Pocky, now, it was moving fast. In fact, I had to send a minion out for more, because apparently Memphis is in a quantum singularity and carries Pocky at Wal-mart, while here in St. Louis I'm ordering it from Japan. By Sunday, I was resolved to give up this writing thing and become a Pocky salesgirl.

But up comes the woman I'd seen on Friday. She'd been wandering the con all weekend, but she wanted to come get NOCTURNE and ABADDON because she had loved SETTING SUNS so much. I gratefully signed the books for her. Then she said, "Now, you keep writing! Because I just love your stuff."

Thank you, ma'am. You have no idea how good your timing was.

I've got some work to do.