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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

BEA report, part 2

Back for more, huh? Above is a picture of me signing books in the Wizards booth. You can see the cool framed pictures of the Discoveries books behind me, including Devil's Cape. More info, including an image of the Wizards booth's exterior, after the jump.

  • As promised, the Wizards booth. Kind of makes you think of a cleric, a thief, a fighter, and a magic-user meeting up on a late night, yeah? With a storyteller in the corner and brown ale being poured.

  • The time sequence doesn't matter much, but over the course of the weekend, I sought out autographs (and books) from a number of cool authors and celebrities, including Judy Blume, Marilu Henner, T. Jefferson Parker, Ridley Pearson, Brad Meltzer, Steve Niles, Mike Mignola, and Lee Child.
  • I met R.A. Salvatore and his son and coauthor Geno, which was very cool (and they were both very nice and approachable), but didn't have the right opportunity to ask for an autograph.
  • Other celebrity sightings included Kevin Nealon, Leonard Nimoy (who was autographing this rather unique book), Garrison Keillor, and Wil Wheaton.
  • Friday night I got to go out with my old college friend Jennie, who I hadn't seen since Dina and I were married, and to meet her family. I had a great time, but was so tuckered from the day that I kept nodding off in the car on the way back to the hotel. Sorry, Jennie!
  • Saturday morning was a big thrill. Andre Dubus III was one of my favorite professors in graduate school. I knew he was at the convention promoting his new book, but wasn't sure I'd be able to get a chance to speak with him (the two autographing sessions I could find listed for him overlapped with my own). But walking in to the convention center (it was just a mile from the hotel and the weather was great) I bumped into Andre at a street corner, heading on in with his publicist and editor. After I reintroduced myself, he either remembered me or did a very gracious job of pretending to, and gave me a good 10 minutes of his busy day as we walked in together, getting very excited to hear about my book and asking for an autographed copy. He's a very charismatic, classy guy.
  • Later Saturday morning I attended a graphic novel breakfast with a panel including Jeff Smith, Jeph Loeb, Art Spiegelman, and Mike Mignola. It was very cool listening to their opinions on the evolution of comics.
  • J.M. McDermott and I shared a table at author's alley for an hour and signed a lot more books. Another fun, rewarding time. I think that by the end of the weekend, Joe and I could easily pitch each other's books, answer each other's FAQs, and tell each other's jokes.
  • Saturday night was a very cool celebratory dinner thrown by Wizards of the Coast at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. Delicious. It was nice getting a chance to chat more casually with everyone there without a million other things going on around us. Afterward, I headed out with Joe Casey again and went to a party of a friend of his. More fun.
  • Sunday was a quick trip back to the expo, a lot of packing, and the plane ride home. LAX and American Airlines conspired to make the return trip as much of a pain in the ass as possible. Several long lines in tight, confusing quarters (lots of people wandering around, dragging luggage, trying to figure out where to go). At one point a woman behind me looked at the latest line we'd entered and told one of the crowd control people in a worried voice that her flight was at 2:15 (just five minutes before mine). Like me, she'd arrived in what should have been plenty of time, but the whole system just slowed everything down, and with only an hour left to go until the flight, she was rightfully worried she wouldn't make it to the gate in time. He just shrugged, smiled dismissively, said, "Good luck," and walked away. Jerk. We both cleared security in plenty of time, though, so I assume she made her flight.
  • We were on board my flight preparing to take off when the captain announced that there was an exhaust problem or something making gases run through the air conditioning, and we'd have to get another plane. This ended up delaying our departure by more than two hours (although we got to wait back in the airport, thank goodness) and meant that my new arrival time would be well after the boys' bedtime. The only nice thing was that enough people changed flights (in order to try to make different connections) that I was able to switch to an exit row seat. Much less sardine-like, although it meant I didn't have a tray. No movie on my laptop on the return either, then.
  • I was greeted at the luggage claim by Dina and both boys, the latter in their pajamas. A nice ending to the weekend.
  • I picked up lots of free books this weekend (probably at least 75 pounds of them), so I might be reviewing some on this site as time goes by.
That's all for now. If I remember something significant I left out, I'll do an addendum post or something.


Spork Boy said...

The biggest PR event of your young writing career and you wear...A GRAY T-SHIRT??? :-P

Regardless, congrats on a successful trip. Sounds like you had a blast.

Rob Rogers said...

It only looks like a gray T-shirt in the photo. It's really more of a black and white shirt with tight threading--the same one I wore to the launch party.

I'm not much of a tie guy.

Spork Boy said...

No tie necessary, but would a collar be too much to ask for?

J M McDermott said...

So... there's this book about superheroes, and circus freaks in this fictional town outside of New Orleans founded by pirates. Yup, it's called "LAST DRAGON"... No, wait. That's his book. Mine is about ghosts and how when you say you're going to come home you really ought to... No, no, that's not it. Which one did I write?