I'm back from MidSouthCon and it was very nice. I particularly enjoyed spending time with Haley Elizabeth Garwood, Joy Ward, and Ruth Souther. They were nice enough to let me share table space with them as I'd heard about the con too late to purchase a table of my own. Haley writes books about real women warriors in history: her books include Zenobia, Ashes of Britannia, and The Forgotten Queen. Joy has written a book called Haint that is about extraterrestrial dogs trying to save us from ourselves after the apocalypse. She's a professional blogger on the internet's second most popular dog blog, so she defintely gets the breeds right when it come to the funny ways dogs act. Ruth wrote Death of Innocence which she describes as mythological fantasy. She also has an urban fantasy underway, that I'm not certain if I can blog about that or not... so I won't, but it sounded interesting to me.
MidSouthCon also gave me the opportunity to do some more hanging out with Dan and Jackie Gamber of MeadowHawk Press. This was a particularly cool weekend for Jackie, because she was awarded her first Alex Award. Since I was away from my WTF support team, Dan and Jackie went out of their way to check on me throughout the weekend and let me tag along with them a good bit when they weren't on panels or running the MeadowHawk booth.
I met Candace Havens at an autograph session (we were sitting next to each other) and she was nice enough to chat and buy a book! :) Candace has written tons of tv-related behind the scenes info and was infamous at the convention for having a preview copy of the first episode of Battlestar Galactica on DVD in her purse. She's got some fiction books under her belt too, from Charmed and Dangerous to Like a Charm.
One of the best things I noticed about MidSouthCon was how well organized they were. The con suite ran like a well-oiled machine and around meal times, it contained actual meal-type items like hot dogs or on one night, pizza. They knew how to treat their guests and the dealers too. Several times a day, runners came through the dealer's room checking on everyone working the tables to make certain that they had something to drink and around lunch time on Friday and Saturday, they even brought food.
As at all cons, there were a few last minute schedule changes and a double booking, but it was all handled extremely well and chaos was kept to a minimum. I missed the closing ceremonies, but the opening ceremonies were handled by the SCA and involved all the guests of honor getting gift baskets and being introduced briefly to the crowd.
Selina Rosen, in her role as official toast master, was hilarious.
The dealer's room was cozy, but there was a wide variety of merchandise represented, including a book table run by Glen Cook (author of the Black Company series) and his wife. Allan Gibreath author of the Galen vampire series was at the Kerlak Press booth. I still haven't read his book yet, but I can tell you that he's a very funny guy and fun to hang out with.
I was only on one panel (again, not the con's fault, I didn't express an interest in attending until twelve days before the con). It was on Romance in the Underworld, which I hope we correctly turned into a discussion about the importance of love (emotional, physical, or both) as a driving factor even if your book isn't exactly a romance novel. It's a basic human need and by giving that same need to one degree or another to supernatural creatures, we writers enable our readers to better identify with them. The one panel appearance sold three copies of my book.
All in all: fun con. They are looking for a new hotel next year since they can't really grow much in the current hotel. If you're in the Memphis area for the next MidSouthCon, I suggest that you show up. It was very well done indeed.