This has been one tough week!
I'm a little late in posting about Hypericon and Memphis, but only because I had to compact a week's worth of work and then some into 3 days before I set out again for Huntington, Louisville, and Cincinnati signings this weekend.
The book launch weekend went very well! As always, Hypericon was wonderful. I am really impressed with this Con, as they faced a few daunting realities this year. One was that Con Carolinas in Charlotte was running the same weekend (which is a large, excellent Con...one that I enjoyed immensely in 2009 and hope to get back to next year.) Also, rumors had been flying around the internet that Hypericon was not taking place due to flood damage to the hotel site in Nashville. There were a few regular faces that I did not see this year, but the Con went on strongly and featured some incredible guests.
The author guest of honor was none other than horror legend Ramsey Campbell. He is an energetic and very friendly fellow, who has a great legacy of literary works. I found myself on a panel with him on day one (the mystery writers panel, where Con Chairman Fred Grimm grabs a few authors minutes before this panel takes place, and then asks them a variety of questions...some serious, and some not so serious). I was on another panel with Ramsey on day two, one focusing on bad writing advice that authors have received. I walked into the panel room before it began to find fantasy legend Glen Cook on one end of the table and Ramsey Campbell on the other. I had to sit between the two of these incredible guys, which was a little surreal. Two other outstanding panelists, Brian J. Hatcher and Jason Sizemore (the big man at Apex Publications) joined us shortly thereafter.
One attendee at the Con told me that the other evening panel I was on was the best panel they had ever seen. It was a panel dealing with writer's block and time management, and featured the inimitable Elizabeth Donald, the vivacious Sara M. Harvey, a New York Times best-selling author in Eric Wilson, and yours truly. Eric actually managed to captivate both Sara and Elizabeth (who usually put on a show when teamed together) with his marital erotic metaphors in relation to working through potential writer's block. It was fun to witness Elizabeth and Sara as they reacted to Eric's comparisons!
I did do a launch panel on the first evening of the panel, where I was joined by Matthew Perry, who did the cover art and illustrations for my novels. We had a nice audience, and got to talk about the scope of the series, Matthew's involvement with the art side of things, and it even featured a reading.
I spent a lot of time in the dealer's room, where I was exhibiting. Besides talking to readers and new readers alike, I spent a lot of time talking to Elizabeth and Angelia Sparrow, whose Literary Underworld table was to my right, as well as Kimberly Richardson and Allan Gilbreath of Kerlak Publications. Found out some really cool things about Allan, involving his knowledge of medieval weaponry. I had also found out the previous day that a new steampunk short story of mine made it into the upcoming Kerlak anthology Dreams of Steam. Some very cool writers are on this one, including Nick Valentino and H. David Blalock!
I got to visit a great deal with H. David Blalock, the eminent author of Ascendent, who was hanging out at Hypericon and graciously hosted me for my Memphis Davis-Kidd signing on the monday after the convention. David's abode is a perfect residence for a writer...rural, wood-shrouded, and tranquil!
David helped me navigate Memphis, which was very helpful as I had a live tv interview on the Memphis ABC affiliate, Eyewitness News. It was a several minute segment, and the host of the show, Terrance Bates, was simply fantastic. He made me welcome the moment I entered the studio, and is a lively, engaging interviewer. I hope to post the interview shortly, as I was able to get a video file of it.
The signing at Davis-Kidd went well. Many thanks to Christina Meeks, who is the hard-working PR and Events coordinator at Davis-Kidd. A nice group showed up, and we had a great discussion about my writing approaches and the books, followed by a reading that was delivered by Kirk Stevens, a friend of mine and talented Memphian writer. Kirk is a great reader, and I loved hearing him read the first segment of The Storm Guardians.
Following the signing, Kirk, David, and myself got to hang out with Dan and Jackie Gamber, and their daughter. Dan and Jackie have been very wonderful to me, and it was great to kick back and have dinner with them. I will always be a supporter of Gamber Nation! (as I sometimes refer to them! haha)
I then made the drive back starting early Tuesday morning, got back to Lexington, and pretty much dived back into things as all kinds of tasks were waiting for me. Always a million and one things to do when you are a small press author, as if you don't do it, nobody else is going to do it for you!
It is definitely a short week, as I am readying to head to Empire Books and News in Huntington on Friday, Borders on South 4th Street in Louisville on Saturday, and Borders on Eastgate Boulevard in Cincinnati on Sunday. Hopefully things will go somewhat smoothly, and a few folks will drop by. Always an iffy thing when you are an author like myself. I can definitely say that it is wonderful when you look up and see a familiar face at one of these events, or a reader of your work. I'll be sure to report on all three here when I get back.