Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Wonderful DemiCon

As some of you know, last year my mother went into the hospital just a few days ahead of DemiCon, and I had to cancel my appearance there. I loved going to DemiCon in 2009, which was my first year with a novel out (The Exodus Gate).

I had been waiting for the 2011 version of DemiCon to arrive, as I was eager to get back and visit a number of wonderful folks that I had come to know in 2009 (a few of which I did get to see at a 2010 Beaver Dale Books appearance later in the summer last year).

I finished up with a day on the broadcast team at Keeneland, got the rest of the car packed, took a couple hour nap, and headed out for Iowa a little after 2am. Driving at night is rather uneventful, which is good for making time. I wasn't worried about missing too much in the way of scenery, as there isn't much of it on the route through Indiana and Illinois. It is also about an 11 hour drive from Lexington to Des Moines, and I arrived just in time to throw my suitcase in the hotel room, change my shirt, and get over to the dealer's room for setup.

(average "scenic" view driving through Illinois heading towards DemiCon)

The first day at DemiCon was mostly spent in the dealer's room at my table, as I started to reconnect with a few of the people I knew. When the dealer's room closed, I was picked up by Shirley Damsgaard for a wonderful dinner and visit. Shirley, who writes the wonderful Ophelia and Abby Mystery Series for Avon, has been a real good friend to me, and I was very happy that we got to catch up in person.

I crashed pretty early on Friday evening, and then rose early on Saturday for what would be a very full day. I had a reading, a solo panel session on adaptations, a screening of Swordbearer, a "Speed Dating with Authors" Panel, and finally a signing session, along with some more hours in the dealers room.

The reading was great, and I found Mike Lindley, who was one of the first people that I met at DemiCon during my 2009 visit. Mike is a great fellow, and aspiring writer, and was sporting a fancy silk robe as well! I had a small group for the readings, but it went pretty well. I read from both The Storm Guardians, and Dream of Legends.

(Mike Lindley with me in the dealer's room at DemiCon)

The adaptation discussion went smoothly also, leading right into a Swordbearer screening that had a nice attendence. We finished early enough that some of the individuals in the audience insisted that I play the movie for a second time. I would have to say that this was my first true "film encore", lol.

Speed Dating for Authors was fun. We had circles at which readers sat, leaving an open space for a rotating group of authors who spent six minutes at a time with each group. I got to meet several new friends in this panel.

Rounding things out was the signing session, during which I sat by Taylor Kent and Aaron Siddall, the writer and illustrator respectively of the Snarky Avenger Web Comic. I advise everyone to check this online comic out, as Taylor and Aaron were two of my highlights over the weekend. Really talented fellows!

(Taylor, Aaron, and myself at DemiCon)

Later on that evening I got to learn a whole lot more about filk, as I was invited by Dawn, a new friend of mine, to check out a session where her developing filk song was critiqued. I'm no expert on filk, but it is a really interesting music genre that has a strong presence on the convention circuit.

Sunday was spent in the dealers room, where I got to spend some more time with friends like Mike, author Lettie Prell, Tracy (my dealer room neighbor from right across the aisle, she's super cool and a very good jewelry designer), and even met some more new friends like Cynthia Lee, who is an up and coming artist.

(author Lettie Prell with me at DemiCon)

(me with artist Cynthia Lee)

The Con was well run, friendly, successfull, and everything else you hope to see in an event. I definitely recommend DemiCon to everyone, and will tell you that it is well worth the eleven hour drive.

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