Friday, March 30, 2012

MidSouthCon 30 and a Big April Looms

MidSouthCon 30 and a Big April Looms!

Jackie Gamber at the SSP Booth on Friday of MidSouthCon 30
MidSouthCon 30 went fantastic.  As a whole, the SSP camp had its biggest convention of the year, bolstered by the release of Jackie Gamber's 2nd Leland Dragon series book, Sela.  H. David Blalock and myself also had really good conventions, making the weekend a very strong one overall.

I ended up staying with the Gambers over the weekend after I blundered in not reserving my hotel early enough to get the convention rate.  Yes, even though I do lots of events, I forget the basics from time to time.  But I had a really time with Jackie, Dan, Ben, Ellen, their two four-legged family members, a big bulldog named Ursula and a very talkative cat named Katie.

Jackie Gamber and Ursula
Ursula came to visit the convention on the first day, in fact.  Jackie had to assist Ursula with the escalator, as this picture can attest!

As often happens on these sorts of excursions, the first day involved a nice 4am wakeup and subsequent 6 1/2 hour drive to Memphis, straight to the Convention site where I immediately set up the SSP Booth.  Banners, stands, posters, buttons, a ton of books, signage, and a billion other things are integrated into these displays, to the point that Jackie wondered how I manage to get so much worked into a 6 foot table display, LOL

Georgia Jones and me at MidSouthCon 30
Georgia Jones, whose new book Legends of Darkness just came out last week, helped me get things in order and had some great decorative touches on the booth.  She's with Blackwyrm Publishing and is also a good friend of mine who was part of our booth for the weekend (incidentally, she met Dave Mattingly of Blackwyrm at the Pitch the Publisher panel we hosted at Fandom Fest last summer!).   Georgia's got an excellent book and is really hitting the ground running, so be expecting to hear alot more about her in the near future.

The weekend involved quite a bit of booth time, along with some panels, and a nice visit to the Literary Underworld Party on Saturday night.  My neighbors in the dealer room were the Literary Underworld to my left, Yard Dog Press to my right, and Kerlak Publishing across the aisle from me.  Talk about a fun sector of the dealer room!  We definitely were not the most quiet area either!  LOL

Elizabeth Donald with Jimmy Gillentine and Angelia Sparrow
just to the back of them
It is a blast getting to hang out with the likes of Allan Gilbreath, Selina Rosen, Elizabeth Donald, Jimmy "Popcorn King" Gillentine, Angelia Sparrow, Kimberly Richardson, and the others that were about the booths over the weekend.  Shorty, an icon on the convention circuit, runs a great dealer room and this was no exception.  Many kudos to the staff that helped us get carts, load in, come by and bring drinks throughout the weekend, and more.

Me with Amanda Trowbridge at MidSouthCon 30

I also got to meet some folks in person that I had only known through Facebook interaction and the like.  As I've always said, nothing beats meeting someone in person, such as happened when I ran into Amanda Trowbridge, someone I had known from Facbook for a couple of years, but had never met in person before this event.

MidSouthCon is truly a first rate, well-run Con.  The literary track was fantastic, from the marketing panel I was on, to one on author's co-ops, to another on Faith in Speculative Fiction, and one on convention etiquette. The Faith in Speculative Fiction panel was particularly fun, as it was moderated by Kirk Stevens, who is possibly one of the best moderators out there, and included Herika Raymer, Robert Krog, and Stephen Dorning, three authors that I think very highly of, and who also happen to be friends I have a lot of fun being around at these events.

These weekend events tend to speed by in a whirlwind, and this was no exception.  Before I knew it, it was time to break down the booth, pack up, and make the drive back to Lexington.

A big April is looming.  Matt will be doing artwork for the third Fires in Eden book, and we'll be putting the final polish on! :)  I will also be heavily involved with a number of activities involving fellow SSP authors' Jackie Gamber, Michael West, and Steven Shrewsbury's new books.  Keep your eyes on the SSP blog, SSP Facebook and Twitter pages, and Google + for a lot of contests, articles, and more.

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