GEN CON Memories

Laura and I are now back from our amazing adventures in Indianapolis at the GEN CON Convention held August 4th through 7th of 2011. It was a most amazing convention and — true to most conventions — I sincerely wish that I had seen more of it.

We had, of course, been planning this for almost a year. Our airline tickets had been purchased in February. We had shipped out our Eventide novels, our Killer Breakfast box, Blackshore t-shirts and treasure contest cards all in advance. I had authored two separate DVDs for our two Killer Breakfast events. Our careful plans were all set to be executed.

Then, the day before we were to leave, it looked like it was about to fall completely apart.

I got up on Tuesday and, as is my habit, checked my email. Included was the obligatory notice from Orbitz telling me that my itinerary had been updated. I get these all the time whenever I fly. They usually say something like ‘your flight 1234 departure has been changed from 8:36am to 8:37am.’ But something caught my eye on this one and I started to look closer at it.

It said we were departing Salt Lake City for Denver on Tuesday morning … then departing Denver for Indianapolis on FRIDAY???

Panic. Where’s that panic button?

Four hours later we had our flights straightened out and discovered what had happened. A colossal hail storm in Denver two weeks prior had damaged no fewer than twenty aircraft of Frontier Airlines … all of which had to be taken out of service. Somewhere along the line of rebooking everyone and figuring out what to do, Frontier just moved us to Friday … which would have had us miss most of the convention.

As it turned out, they got it as straight as possible under the circumstances. We flew out on an early flight with United Airlines to Denver on Wednesday and then took what was called a Frontier Airlines flight but the aircraft itself was painted with Sun Country livery out of Miami and a Sun Country crew. They served us cookies in flight and I liked them very much. The end result was that we arrived in Indianapolis only fifteen minutes later than we originally had booked.

Thursday was the first day of the convention and I mostly saw a great deal of our booth at #1553. We were there with Howard Taylor and Jim Zubkavitch telling everyone who came by about our fabulous stories and wares. Laura and I had shipped a limited number of ‘Eventide’ novels to the convention and were gratified as to how well it was being received.

Friday morning brought ‘Killer Second Breakfast’ — which was a new event for us in a completely new location. It was well attended and a great deal of fun. We played ‘Phantoms of the Ravenloft’ and I enjoyed singing at the top of my lungs. That afternoon also brought our XDM seminar and my first book signings for our new Fireborn: Embers of Atlantis novel. It was on sale at the convention through the Fantasy Flight booth although it won’t be available in stores until next month. You can see a little of what’s going on at Fantasy Flight (as well as my own smiling face) in this convention video.

Friday also brought our Blackshore Lunch where subscribers to our Blackshore online serial novel all gathered together for a private repast. It was wonderful to see old friends again and to put faces to our new friends online.

Then came Saturday and the big traditional Killer Breakfast. It was a packed house for ‘Potters of the Caribbean’. Gail Gygax took a moment and spoke about the memorial for Gary Gygax at the beginning of the presentation and then we launched into the show. The unplanned ending where a small boy threw the Holly Hand grenade of Antioch at me, blowing me up and collapsing the game universe was priceless.

Killer Breakfast Crowds
Just doing my job…

At each of our Killer Breakfast events we had a special drawing for Killer Dinner … where the winner and a guest would join Laura and I for dinner on Saturday night. Here we are in our after dinner picture with our winners after a great time that night!

(L-R) Jessica Carmody, Kevin Carmody, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Jake Baker, Sharon Lee Baker

It was an exhausting convention and now we’re home … but filled with many great memories of the friends we met along the way, the game we played and the satisfaction of having lived to play another day.

2 thoughts on “GEN CON Memories

  1. Was great seeing you and Laura at GenCon again this year. My son is still talking about meeting you at GenCon and definitely wants to participate next year in the Killer Breakfast. Thanks for the wonderful memories and hope to make plenty more.

  2. I designed the hats.

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