I’m sitting in the Sirius XM production room — which turns out to be Hilton 307. I had to pass a security guard in order to enter this partition of a ball room. The two stars from Psych just walked in the room for their interview. James Roday and Dulle Hill. They are chatting at a table with Kim Alexander while I sit quietly waiting my turn. It is all a little surreal since I had been to a family reunion just last week where one of our group activities was to watch ‘Psych’ — particularly the ‘comic-con episode.’ What a day this has been.
My back was feeling still a little tentative this morning but it was time to start the day regardless. Breakfast downstairs at the hotel and a hearty one at that since we knew there would be no time for lunch today. It occurred to me I should email Felicia Day (“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog”, “Eureka” and her internet show “The Guild.”) Laura and I had met her at the Gencon Convention a few years back. Certainly she would be at the convention and while I knew her schedule would be packed, I just wanted to wish her a great convention. To my delight and surprise she emailed me back that she was having a party that evening and would put me on the list.
Wow. Invited to an actual private party at Comic-con. Thank you, Felicia!
Our initial interview time with Sirius XM was at 11:15 in the morning at the Harper Collins booth but somehow we missed each other. It was a theme that would continue through most of the day. Laura and I took a few minutes and saw a minuscule portion of the enormous trade hall. Both of us were amused by the ‘batman’ bathrobes for sale in the hall, speculating as to how they might apply to ‘Killer Breakfast.’
Without managing to make the interview happen, we went over to look at the Sails Pavillion area and where our signing would be next. I checked at the information booth to see who I needed to deliver my ‘Event Sales Form’ from the ‘California Board of Equalization’; the amazingly humorous title for the state’s sales tax board. Laura and I returned to the hotel with just enough time to cool off, pack our bag for the signing and head back to the convention. We were in slot AA21 which turned out to be right out front — the first slot in the hall as you walked in.
Signing was wonderful; there was a constant stream of people of new friends with books to be signed. We had our share of troubles: we could not get our credit card processing to work through our iPads. It turns out that being in the center of the Geek Universe means that EVERYONE here has a smart phone and EVERYONE is trying to access the internet at the same time. It can be hard to get a phone call through let alone data. Mysterious Galaxy was there to sell books in our line and we had brought a few ‘Eventide’ books of our own as well as a display of the first and second collectable ‘Dragon’s Bard’ novels. I may not have had a line as long as Richard Hatch (from the original ‘Battlestar Galactica’) just a few queue’s down but I think we were far more enthusiastic. When everything was finished, we signed a number of books for Mysterious Galaxy. Lori Tucker, who was helping them, wanted to purchase a few books from us herself and ended up buying the entire Dragon’s Bard collectable collection. Laura was so pleased that she sold her our only copy of ‘Blackshore’, one of the two that we had received in advance of the actual shipment. So, I suppose, she becomes the first of the public to see the book in print.
Just as we were packing up, to unexpected and most welcome faces approached our signing area. I could hardly believe it but our good friends Gabrielle and Tomasi from the Lucca, Italy convention we had attended a few years back were suddenly standing in front of us. I think it may have taken Laura a few moments to realize where she had seen them before; when she did she threw her arms around them, kissing them on both cheeks. They had two other people with them whom they quickly introduced to us, explaining that they had come to promote a new convention they were building for Florence, Italy. They are hoping to use the ancient Medicci Fortress in the center of Florence for their convention. Would we consider being their convention guests? It only took a quick breath to say yes!
After a quick picture of a stunning reproduction of the Robot from ‘Lost in Space’ we dragged our sales roller-case back to our hotel room. Just moving through the crowds at Comic-con can be a challenge; doing so with a roller case was crazy. Damp from the humidity and exhausted from the journey, we returned to our room … only to receive a cell phone call from Michael Barr asking if I could dash over to the Hilton for my rescheduled XM interview. The Hilton is on the south-east end of the San Diego Convention Center and therefore about as far from my hotel as one could go at the venue, but I knew the interview was important. Shoes back on and out the door, exchanging cell phones with Laura so that she could continue to try using the internet. I barely knew how to get hers to work but at least I could manage a phone call.
I maneuvered my way through the throngs to the area between the Hilton and the convention center. I knew that there was a display set up there called ‘the Batcave’ where all of the different batmobile cars were on display. I thought I might swing buy and try to get a look at a ‘Tumbler’ version. As it turned out, they were taking free promotional pictures of people in front of the tumbler. It was an excellent set up with one man taking the pictures and a second man using an iPad to get the people’s email addresses so that the picture location could be sent to them via internet. This then was a viral/promotional link for their ‘The Batmobile’ documentary this fall. Very cool. I could not resist and, since the line was only two people deep, I leaped in and had my picture taken next to the tumbler.
Which led me to be sitting a few minutes later in Hilton room 307 and listening to James Roday and Dulle Hill wrapping up their interview. I stood up as they left, managed to shake Dulle Hill’s hand (whom I had admired since his roll on ‘The West Wing’) and shook Kim’s hand once again. I asked where she wanted me to sit and the interview began.
Kim Alexandra was a wonderful interviewer; an amazing voice and well studied. In fact, her first question to me was ‘How is your back feeling today?’ She had researched me and, apparently, read my blog post on my website — which I had made just that morning. She also asked me about coming into the booth yesterday and seeing someone buying my book. I guess you have to be pretty much ‘up-to-speed’ in satellite radio.
We had a lovely interview which lasted about fifteen minutes, I believe. I hope I get to hear it someday soon — I’d like to remember what I said.
Interview concluded, we shook hands again. She said I have a great radio voice. Still, I could feel myself slowing down. I made my farewells and it was off to meet Laura for dinner…
…But first, one more time with the Tumbler.
I realized that I had given the man the wrong email address. I wouldn’t get the picture of me and the Tumbler batmobile until I got home and I wanted to post about it. So I stopped by again, stood in front of the car a second time, and got my picture taken. Now it’s posted on the ‘Wayne of Gotham’ facebook page and I’m content at last.
After some hilarious (in retrospect) giving of directions to Laura via our cell phones, we met at the Oceanaire restaurant at J street and 4th Ave. It reminded us of one of our favorite restaurants in Indianapolis and, as we found out, for good reason: they are both part of a select chain. The crabcakes were amazing, the shared filet mignon perfect and the Key Lime desert incredible.
Finally, it was time to hike the six blocks north and find Belos where Felicia’s party was being held. ID checked and, yes, we were on the list. It was a basement disco and it was delightful to get to see Felicia again. Laura remarked what a brilliant woman she is; she not only remembered Laura but where they had met. Laura and I like her very much. She was, of course, too busy to really chat with last night but it is always a broad smile moment when we get to see her. She is among our favorite people.
Exhausted, we had to leave the party early (no longer prepared to disco until 2am). Not before running into Jamie Chambers and his friend. It was an unexpected surprise at the end of a day that could barely be believed. What will tomorrow possibly bring?