Parade and crowd.
Big day. It was parade day, and I had scheduled lunch with Chris Kennedy. Originally we had talked about having it in the food court, but things worked out differently and much better. Breakfast again at the Residence Inn, this time much more crowded due to the FSU and Alabama fans. Then up to the room for a shower and to get ready. On the way I ran into Chris Kennedy and his lovely wife, Sheellah, right outside the sports bar restaurant with the Braves sign. We agreed to meet here after the parade, and I headed up to the parking garage I was hoping would give a good view of the spectacle to come.
I got a great view of the parade. There was no room near the front, but I found a spot with some short people I could stand behind. The parade was distant, but with a 60X telephoto lens everything zoomed close. I talked with an Alabama fan who was there for the game, but had decided the parade was worth a look. As usual the parade was spectacular. And after the streets were full of people. One final spectacle was the sweeping of the street by motorcycle police, moving people back onto the sidewalks. It was like trying to part the sea, and as soon as they passed people again flooded into the street. Fun.
Saw these good sisters earlier in the day. Must have been some kind of church gathering.
We met at the restaurant, and Chris and Sheellah were already there, holding down a table. Soon Mark showed up, then someone I’d never met, Will Wight, who had sold 400K books online. He had even more of a recognition problem than I did, since he was also an attending professional, and hadn’t gotten even one panel. Joy Wandrey came in, along with a friend of hers, and suddenly we had seven people at the table. I had planned to buy lunch, but hadn’t figured on this many. When the check came Will grabbed it, and I decided to let the guy who had sold twice as many books as I had have it. I had wanted to talk business with Chris, who had an out of this world business model. I was also hoping to ask about writing a book in his universe. I didn’t get to talk as much as I wanted, though the conversation at lunch was great. Did get to discuss some matters, and altogether I was very happy with the outcome of the lunch.
Lunch on Saturday. Right side, myself, Will Wight, didn’t remember her name. Other side, Chris Kennedy, Sheellah Kennedy, Mark Wandrey, Joy Wandrey.
Afterward, I headed back to the Hyatt, hoping to catch Kevin J. Anderson’s panel, New York Times Bestsellers. I had wanted to say hello in person at least once this con. I had said hi to Rebecca Moesta, his wife, earlier. The line around the Hyatt was unreal, and I thought that boded ill for getting in to see him. And the next day he had a panel in the same room, same time, with Jim Butcher, so forget about that one as well. Instead, I went to the Baen Roadshow, and found out it was two hours, when I only had one hour to spare, or so I thought. I left early for my mentoring session with Elizabeth Moon, and got there to find out that I had gotten the times wrong. I felt bad about it, until later I saw that there were plenty of hopefuls lined up hoping to get a slot, so her time didn’t go to waste. I saw several friends in the hall, all with stories of breaks they were getting. That was cool. I had been told at earlier cons that I was an inspiration because I actually sold books. Now a lot of those same people were getting their foot in the door and making it.
It’s a trap.
One more panel, then I sat and talked with James Palmer, and Robert Sawyer sat with us and talked. Robert thought he had seen an announcement for my book with Arc Manor in Locus. I was excited. Turned out he was mistaken, and the next day he said it might have been one of my own blog posts. Robert is an interesting guy, and it was always a pleasure to talk with him. Got some time with Bill Fawcett, and some more conversation with Robert. Then it was time for meeting Raphyel Jordan, who was supposed to have supper with me.
I had met Raphyel at Superstars, and we had always met for a meal at DragonCon after that. I was sitting in front of the Hyatt when a tall black man with dreads came walking out. I thought it was Raphyel, and I yelled at him, but he didn’t stop. So I was up to chase after him. That was a losing proposition, as he was young and striding, and I had a cane. Finally lost him, last sight was two blocks ahead on the other side of the street. So I called him up and found that he was still on the dealers floor at America’s Mart. When I met with him I was still amazed at how closely that stranger had resembled him, to skin tone, dreadlocks and head scarf.
Uh oh. Batman coming for me in front of the Hyatt.
Raph talked about the podcast he was running and I asked him if I could be on it. Sure thing. They were booked up at the moment, but would probably have some openings about the time Kinship War was due at the publishers. Perfect. After eating I wandered back to the hotel, to see my college team collapse in their first game. And so went the second day of DragonCon.
Up next; DragonCon: Sunday, 3rd September.
Coming soon: Thirty Days of Giveaways.