So, I just got back from Dragon*Con and it was a total blast. It was also combined with several firsts for me.
1) It was the first convention I've been to since becoming a father (six years ago!)
2) I got to meet my editor, Jennifer Heddle, in person for the first time. I can't say how cool it was to get a chance to chat with someone with whom I have worked so closely. For the record, she is exceedingly nice.
3) Before I left for the con, Jennifer emailed the cover proof for my novel. I'm not allowed to post it on the web yet, but I did get to carry it around the con with me. My wife printed out several glossy copies of the proof along with a handful of business cards. Not only did I get exactly the artist that I wanted (without ever being brave enough to mention that I wanted him), but absolutely everyone liked it. The people I met may not remember my name, but I like to think they'll remember Chris McGrath's wonderful artwork.
4) Believe it or not, it was also the first time I'd ever been to any Writer's Track Panels. It may be odd, but I decided that following the writer's track would be the best way to find out if I was doing things the "right" way. You'd think selling a book would have given me more confidence in myself, but I am ever the victim of self-doubt. Fortunately, every writer I met was very nice and most were incredibly enthusiastic and welcoming when I told them about my book. Sherrilyn Kenyon with her "That's great! Is this your cover? It's beautiful! Who's your editor? She's really good!"and Maggie Shayne with her "Welcome vampire brother!" were by far the most enthusiastic.
5) Other writers I met for the first time (all of whom were nice): Theresa Bane, Peter David, Rebecca York, David Drake, Selina Rosen, L.A. Banks, Eric Griffin, Angela Knight, Susan Kearny, Angelica Knight, Mark Weiskoff, Janny Wurt, Phillip Nutman. and I'm certain I'm leaving someone out.
6) Writers weren't the only cool people I met. Kevin Sean Michaels, the man behind Vampira the Movie, was there and I got to talk with him a bit before the From Page to Screen panel began. I also got a chance to ask Hank Reinhardt (calling him a sword and arms historian doesn't really do him justice) a few questions about the uses of military picks for a novel project I really can't say much about yet. I also met cartoonist Andy Runton, the creator of Owly. It isn't about vampires, but Owly has a simple heartwarming storyline that should appeal to any and all.
7) It's strange to drive all the way to Atlanta to meet old friends who live in Birmingham, but I ran into several.