Dragoncon: Friday

Thank goodness, the Kerlak booth was up and running before I even got there. My books are happily ensconced on the shelves, hopefully not to stay there long. Hello, book lovers! You can find me in the center of the exhibition hall, near the Troma Films booth. I will happily sign anything you put in front of me.

I got into the hotel room with a minimum of fuss, which is remarkable. Now that I’m here and most of the nonsense is behind me, I find that I’m not all that stressed anymore. Maybe it’s because as I write this, I’ve spent the last couple of hours lounging around my exceedingly luxurious hotel room. I may quibble with the Marriott’s prices, but I must say, they know how to make a comfy room. It may be less comfy when the hordes descend, but that’s okay too.

I wish I had money. They have a spa in this hotel offering all kinds of ridiculous body wraps and massage and facials. Just once I want to be rich enough to have all that kind of stuff on a trip. Alas, I’ll have to settle for my travel-sized Mary Kay in my hotel room… which, to be honest, is good enough.

I met up with Vernard Martin and Jeff Pagliei and a few other miscreant souls by happening into the same elevator with them on my way through the Habitrail. (For the uninitiated: the Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt hotels at Dragoncon are connected via glass tubes between each other and the Peachtree Center food court. Therefore we scuttle from hotel to hotel in tubes that make us feel like gerbils.)

I wasn’t going to spend money on nonessentials like food, but I was weak and succumbed to the lure of bourbon chicken and good conversation. My friends are so sweet – they all want to know how they can help me succeed. My answer is always the same: buy my books, encourage others to buy my books, tell people online about the Literary Underworld and me. Word of mouth is the only way I’m going to get anywhere, because I have no money for self-promotion and certainly the publishers can’t pay for it. Nothing against my publishers, whom I love, but if the choice is buy ads or pay royalties, please pay royalties. I’ll do what I can on the promo end.

I’m nervous about the reading on Sunday. It’ll be the first time I’ve read BLACKFIRE out loud. I’m trying to decide between the opening sequence with the springheel and the popobawa flashback. Probably a better choice than lounging would have been to time those readings and see how long it would take. Meh.

But Angelia (this year's flunky) has just called to tell me she’s here, and there was a bank robbery nearby so the streets are cordoned off. Seriously, if the robbers were wearing Capt. Kirk masks, they’re out of the club. More later!

Later:

I’ve finished my first panel, and I think it went all right. Phil Nutman moderated, which was more like zookeeping with this crew. I got to see John Everson again – he’s one of my Literary Underlords and a good friend. Cherie Priest was also there, as was JAMES A. MOORE! Finally!

Jim and I have been acquainted online for several years now, introduced by our mutual friend and fellow horror nut Jeff Strand. But alas, until today Jim and I have never met. We’ve been at Dragoncon together a couple of times, but never on the same panel and somehow we always seemed to miss each other.

So when he came in he pointed at me and said, “You, get over here.” I guess he could tell which woman was me and which was Cherie Priest, since Cherie as usual had her crazy-awesome blue hair.

Naturally I complied and gave him a big hug. He’s much less ferocious than his author photo. *ducks* After the panel, I gave him a copy of THE COLD ONES, since his blurb decorates the back. Jim’s support of that novella meant a lot to me, as he is far more established in the horror genre than I am. He’s also a great guy.

Of course, I had brought my copy of BLOOD RED for him to sign… and left it in my hotel room. Brilliant, Donald. So I guess I’ll just have to hunt him down later.

I have a couple of authory things I must do, and then some kind of social gathering has been planned, I understand. Heh heh heh.

...later

There was a social gathering. Vernard poured out. Enough said. *hic*


(Note: These are obviously being posted post-con, because I categorically refuse to pay $13 a day for internet access.)

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