Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I'm home from Texas and AggieCon. It was an absolutely great weekend. I was picked up at the Houston Airport by Kelly & Andy who also snagged up Author Guest of Honor Allan Cole. It's about an hour and a half drive from Houston to College Station and so we talked the whole way. Allan is not only an author, but also a screenwriter. The man had great stories to tell. He's written for such shows as A-Team, Magnum PI, Rockford Files, etc. And he's a great storyteller.

The con went smoothly. Allan and I "shared" a Guest Host (Dakota Blair) who made sure we were fed, watered and made our panels on time. We had more than one deep conversation about mathematics (his specialty), politics and life in general. It was one of the rare conventions where my IQ actually went UP.

I got to meet up with old friends (Teresa Patterson, Rhonda Eudaly -- she of the sizeable engagement ring and the cute fiancee), Tom Knowles and Gloria Oliver. I also got to chat with Alan Porter, a delightful Brit with a nifty book about the Beatles' early years. We traded theories about Jack the Ripper, which is always an intriguing topic. Joan Upton Hall and I discussed the finer points of indy publishing and Jennifer DiCamillo astounded me with the sheer volume of her work.

The panels went well, especially the paranormal romance panel. I was moderator and by that time of the evening I'd indulged into two huge cups of Dr. Pepper and was pretty much flying from the sugar and caffeine. Better than some other substances I might abuse.

I found the Aggie campus a contrast. You have the usual college students and then there were the uniformed members of their Corps (military). Strange juxtaposition, but it worked. Like always, the good folks from Texas are very polite. I could get used to being called "ma'am."


steve said...

When I was writing for the Elkhart Truth, I had columns about the four Pulitzer prizewinners who had lived there. One was Charles Gordone, the first African American to win the Pulitzer for drama. (1969, "No Place to Be Somebody.") After winning the prize, he suffered from that curse of successful writers, alcoholism. But later on he became a professor at Texas A&M. From what I understand, there's a permanent memorial exhibition for him there. I doubt if you had time to see it, but if you did, let me know.

Jana Oliver said...

Nope, didn't see the exhibition, though I might have walked right past it. There is an exhibit of old firearms on campus, as well, but I didn't have time to visit it. That would have been very educational.

Though not as architecturally gorgeous as the Univ of Iowa's buildings, TX A&M had a lot of enrichment programs for their students. It looked to be a topnotch place for an education.

Hopefully if success knocks on this writer's door I can keep the booze intake at a sane level. At the cost of single malt scotch, that won't be too hard I think.

Devon Ellington said...

Sounds like a great conference! So glad it went well.