Sunday, October 12, 2014

WFC dreaming, or: the weekend I was nearly famous.

We'll get to our post in a moment. But first, the news:

  • The Land, Sea, Sky Trilogy is now live at Amazon. This omnibus edition includes a new author's note and the first chapter of Seized, just in case readers get to the end of the book and want to know why Antonia treats Naomi like a rock star. If you enjoyed the Land, Sea, Sky books -- or if you have been meaning to get around to reading them -- now's your chance. And not that I'm encouraging anyone to wait...but starting this Thursday, the omnibus will be on sale for 99 cents. I hope you'll check it out, and tell all your friends, too.
  • The fractal jaguar is having his moment in the sun this weekend. The book trailer for Fissured is featured at Indies Unlimited today. Click through if you haven't seen it -- or, heck, if you'd like to see it again.
  • I received an e-mail this week from the organizers of this year's World Fantasy Convention, notifying me that "A Man's Got to Do What a Man's Got to Do" has been selected for inclusion in Unconventional Fantasy: A Celebration of Forty Years of the World Fantasy Convention. The anthology will be recorded on a thumb drive and given to everyone who attends the convention next month. I happen to know that a whole bunch of my fantasy-author heroes also have pieces in this anthology, so I am fairly giddy about being included. 
Which segues nicely into this week's post, in which I reprise (with a tweak or two) a thing I wrote for Indies Unlimited a few weeks ago.

I don’t mean to brag, but I had 850 people show up at my first book signing.
Okay, they might have been there to see Gene Wolfe, or Stephen R. Donaldson, or Elizabeth Bear, or Peter Straub, or Patricia McKillip, or…well, you get the idea. But I was there, too!
“There” was the 2010 World Fantasy Convention, in Columbus, Ohio. This annual convention travels to various venues around the world – last year’s was in Brighton, England – and is geared toward speculative fiction in general and fantasy in particular. Membership is capped at 850, and many of the attendees are authors, agents, and editors.
Watchers with SRD in 2010.
I went with some friends from Kevinswatch, and we all went because Donaldson was going to be there. But one of the questions on the sign-up form was, “Are you an author?” This was right after Calderwood Books had published The Maidens' War, so I checked “yes” and put in the Calderwood Books website since I hadn't really started blogging yet. Not only did the WFC organizers believe me, but they put me on a panel. And they let me sign books with the big guys on Friday night.
I've mentioned the mass autographing session here at hearth/myth before. It's a World Fantasy Convention tradition, and it’s pretty crazy. They set up long tables in a ballroom-sized conference room, and they give you a table tent with your name on it. Seating is first-come, first-served, and the lines to get a popular author to sign books can be long. When Neil Gaiman was an honoree in San Diego in 2011, the line to see him wrapped around the ballroom. There were, in fact, so many people in line that he couldn't get to everybody; the convention organizers had to set up a second signing later in the weekend just for him.
Then there are the dealers, who set up outside the room with crates of unsigned books and send runners with stacks of books into the autographing session. The runners stand in the lines, get the books signed, and bring them back to the dealers – who, of course, charge more for autographed books.
There was no line in front of my table, alas, and none of the runners had The Maidens' War in their stack. But my friends gathered around my table, had me sign their copies, and chatted as if I was an actual somebody. One of my buddies even took my picture as I signed his book. I caught at least one passer-by eyeing my table tent to try to figure out who the author was who had attracted such a crowd.
It was really hard to go back to the day job the following Monday, let me tell you.

I'm not expecting such a rousing success this year. For one thing, I won't be a starry-eyed newbie. Well, okay -- I'll still be starry-eyed (I mean, jeez, Guy Gavriel Kay is a guest of honor!), but at least I won't be a newbie. Still, I'm looking forward to this year's shindig. For one thing, my travel and hotel costs will be minimal, as it's happening ten minutes from my house. For another, I get to be in an anthology with Donaldson. "Nearly famous," indeed!

This post originally appeared in a slightly different form at Indies Unlimited.
These moments of nearly famous blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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