Finished up my journal entries here and then tried to get them posted to my website. It is very difficult to get the postings up because the internet access is so spotty right now. The cellular towers appear to be overloaded and getting the tether to go through my phone is often more miss than hit. Managed to get everything posted over breakfast before we left for the convention.
First stop this morning was the DC Comics booth for a 10am signing appearance. We are not allowed to sell the book at DC but much to my delight they had posters to sign and event cards to give away. It was a flood of people wanting the signed posters — most of whom had not heard of the book before. I did my best to move through the line as quickly as possible knowing that this was our chance to gain an audience that we normally would not see. I was a great huckster, telling each person to go to booth 1017 to buy the book while also getting as many email addresses as possible in the process. It was only an hour but it was a solid one. Michael Barr said I was a real pro at this when we finished and the DC representative was pleased as well.
We couldn’t stay long, however, since I had a panel at 11:30 am. This panel was called ‘Remixed Fairytales & Superhero Lore’ and it has a very large attendance. I was quite surprised to discover that the panel would be moderated by Caroline Spector — a woman I had known from back in the TSR days and the wife of Warren Spector who works for a game software company. The other panelists included:
- Sarah Maas (Throne of Glass)
- Marissa Meyer (Cinder)
- Rae Carson (The Girl of Fire and Thorns)
- Paul Tobin (Prepare to Die)
- Tom King (A Once Crowded Sky)
- Michael Scott (The Enchantress)
I sat between Marissa Meyer (who was dressed in a Red Ridinghood costume for her new book) and Tom King (who used to be an operative for the CIA but has just written a superhero novel). Michael Scott is an Irishman and struck me as being most distinguished and knowledgeable about story and craft. Marissa commented on how she was sorry to be missing the Joss Whedon panel. I had been thinking this, too, and said that if the theory of parallel universes is correct, there is a universe somewhere where Joss Whedon is sad because he’s missing Marissa Meyer’s panel. This got a big laugh and, I think, pleased her. In all it was a very thoughtful panel and I enjoyed being on it.
I did tell the story about Zorro and how for supposedly legal reasons I had to take him out of the book despite my best efforts. The story also got a big laugh — and I concluded by saying if they would give the their email address I would send them something after the convention. A number of people were throwing their email addresses at me after the seminar.
We had to clear out quickly because we had a signing and the next panel was late into the room. Tom King then told me that I was a great influence on his writing and that I got him started in fantasy. He’s a very interesting man. I asked him where he was posted while with the CIA and he said, ‘All I can tell you is in the middle east.’ He likes to travel but now has the wife and the children, as he put it. His first book was just published and he’s rightly proud of it.
We were preparing for the signing when Michael Scott stepped up to me. In the wonderful sound of the Irish, he thanked me for opening his eyes to fantasy; that he had read me when he was younger. It brought tears to my eyes to think of this fine writer thanking me. I’m feeling rather humbled about that: as Laura says, the writer is never present when the performance of their work takes place and I’m realizing now how writers are unaware of who their art influences when it is send blindly into the world.
After this amazing signing, Laura and I returned to the hotel and collapsed for an hour or two. It had been a full day. We decided to get the car out of storage and drive over to Coronado Island and one of our favorite old haunts, the Del Coronado Hotel. A most therapeutic barefoot walk through the surf, dinner at the Seabreeze Restaurant and we were set right again.
Getting back to the hotel was something of a challenge. Most of the streets in the Gaslamp district were closed off and many of those were one-way to begin with. It took several tries before we were able to figure out our way back to our hotel.
Our last day tomorrow … I only hope we can hold up.