It’s a big year for conventions for me this year! Here are the ones I’ve been to, and the ones I plan to go to this year:
Mo*Con – Back in March, I went to this little but powerful convention for the second time. It’s put on by the Indiana Horror Writers, and is focused on horror, speculative fiction, religion, and many other topics. It’s a cozy gathering of writers and readers and publishers. Somehow, everyone’s your friend at Mo*Con, and even an introvert like me can feel at home and make new connections. I got to visit with Janet Harriet and Jason Sizemore from Apex Books and Michele Lee and met cool new people like John Edward Lawson. It’s a lot of fun, and I hope to return for a third year in 2013.
InConJunction – Amy and I went to this with our daughter Sarah and our roomie Helen. It’s the 4th year Amy and I have gone. The show had a bigger, better dealer room that incorporated authors this year, though I was not there in an authorly capacity. We had a great time at the Five Year Mission concert and Sarah and I made fools of ourselves doing a bad Karaoke of “Kung Fu Fighting”.
Gen Con Indy – I’ve been going to Gen Con since 1987, and have missed only a couple of years. It’s always a crazy fun time with 50,000 of my people – gamers, geeks and other freaks. This was Amy’s first year of going all four days, and she had a good time! In the past few years, there’s been a quiet revolution going on, a real writing track has sprung up. I admit I did not take as much advantage of this as I meant to, but Gen Con is mind-bogglingly huge and confusing, and I came down with Con Crud on Saturday morning, so that kind of put a damper on my plans. But if you are a writer and a gamer, I HIGHLY recommend Gen Con, you can combine both of your loves. The author alley was bigger and better than I’ve ever seen it, and I got pounced on by Maurice Broddus and ran into Jerry Gordon and the Apex folks as a random encounter. We also went with roomie Helen to see Five Year Mission, and they rocked out to a big, enthusiastic crowd of Gen Con folks.
6th Annual Indianapolis Paranormal Meet & Greet – I set up shop along with Michael West and RJ Sullivan, selling my books to the paranormal enthusiasts – of which I am one – under a tent at this fun outdoor mini-festival. Hundreds of ghost geeks showed up to represent their own teams or to hobnob with others. I had a lot of great conversations with people who stopped by to ask about my books, and I got to visit with some old friends who were there as well. The lovely and talented Renee Graham of Dead Speak Radio got me up on stage to talk about my stuff and the books my Indiana Horror Writers friends had brought. I even survived the experience.
That Book Place Labor Day Book Sale and Author Signings – The tattered remains of hurricane Isaac may have kept people away from this event, but I had a lovely time hanging out with RJ Sullivan, Stephen Zimmer and Rodney Carlstrom of Seventh Star Press as well as chatting with the brilliant and charismatic Red Tash and her husband Tim. Thanks to Frank Hall of Hydra Publications and That Book Place for hosting this event and inviting me.
Context – Some of my IHW friends and I are going to trek out to Columbus, OH again for this wonderfully bookish speculative fiction convention. This year, I plan to have books hosted at the Hydra / That Book Place table (thanks for the offer, Frank!) while I buzz around as part of as many panels as I possibly can. My dazzling scientist friend, Trista Robichaud and I are doing one in particular on the science of yeast (aka how to homebrew beer and wine, and why it works). That will be a lot of fun! I’m also looking forward to being more of an attendee than last year, since I’ll be freed from table duties.
Starbase Indy – I never thought I’d be going to a Star Trek convention, but I went last year to see Five Year Mission (yes, that’s the third time I’ve mentioned them, shut up, I’m obsessed and I know it), but found it to be easily as fun as InConJunction, and Amy and I made new friends and had a lot of fun. I guess I should have realized that Trek fans are my kind of people as well. It’s a convention centered around Star Trek fandom, but not limited to that show.
Whew! That’s a lot of cons! If you’re going to either of the remaining conventions, look me up. Next year, I will be more organized about posting here where I will be.