There are times in a writer's life that everything goes just perfectly. This last weekend was one of them. I spent four days in Dallas, doing my writer thing at A-Kon (www.a-kon.com) This is a very large Anime convention with 12K+ attendees. The last time I was at an A-Kon it was held at the Hyatt at DFW Airport and had about 6.5K attendees. The con's nearly doubled in three years.
Most conventions are polite to their guests. A-Kon treats me like I just landed a $4 million book contract, appeared on Oprah, won a Hugo and a Nebula and just spent the night with George Clooney. Of course, I have a better chance at all of those but the last (sigh). Now I always try to do my best for a con, even if they're not really busting their cookies for me. I go over the top for A-Kon because I know if they're treating me that well, they're doing the same to the fen. And the fen are what makes a convention (and my books) successful.
I met up with some writer buddies (Melanie "Hoosier Red" Fletcher, Thomas Knowles (and son), Helen McCarthy, P.N. Elrod and Gloria Oliver (no relation). We b.s.'s about life and times, sold some books and put on some good panels.
Melanie, Thomas and I also had the opportunity to work over some new writers during our workshop. The two gentlemen who girded their loins and faced our criticism earn my utmost respect. They had no idea if we were going to be pricks or not. We weren't. We've been there and know that nasty comments do not a writer make. We got good input while we were learning the trade (and still are learning, by the way) and it's only fair we do the same to the newer ones in our midst. Both gentlemen have talent and their ability to take our remarks without losing their cool shows they've got what it takes to make it in this business. I wish them all the best and hope someday to hear they've received their first book contract.
Now that I've overcome my 'con lag' (amazingly short recovery time, by the way) I'm gearing up for Sci-Fi SummerCon here in Atlanta. Much smaller convention, more intimate. And no hassles with security at the airport. Always a plus. I'll post a report next week.
Overhead at A-Kon: "Don't leave! I'll make pudding!"