I’ve returned from HyperiCon in Nashville. I enjoyed myself quite a bit, though there were some issues with the convention I won’t go into other than to say that most conventions should have panelists and moderators listed on the schedule, along with a description of what the panel is about. And attending guests and panelists should be listed on website and social media. None of which was done for this convention, which I think is suffering from growing pains: it’s trying to make a transition from a small literary con to becoming a more gaming and media-centric one. Anyway, it was great fun, but disorganized.
Past years, it was in a really shitty hotel, and there’s a liberation in being in a shitty hotel, but this hotel was nice and not shitty and they reminded you of that.
At the convention, I met Jim Hodgson and his wife Meghann, and they are lovely people. Jim knows quite a bit about publishing, he works very hard at it (involved in something like eight podcasts) and he’s hilarious and wise by turns. His new book, Santas vs. Krampus looks fantastic and luckily I have a copy. I feel like we hit it off. We talked book stuff, we chatted, we swam in the pool. Bro stuff. Check out his books at readmyfuckingbooks.com.
Here he is talking about doing sex on a romance panel.
Unrelated, I drank last weekend and I still feel terrible. I’m not going to say I am never going to drink again, but I’m never going to drink again for a long time and never at Hypericon.
In other news, Nashville is very expensive.
Glen Cook said nice things about Southern Gods, and I really appreciated it. Big fan of his The Black Company and Garrett P.I. books (maybe leaning more toward the Garrett books) so hearing nice things about my work from people I admire makes me happy. I’ve been very fortunate in this regard.
Curious thing about having a book coming out, hope springs eternal. I can feel myself thinking about how The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky will do, how it will be received. I’m very proud of the writing and the story and feel like it’s some of my best work. But publishing, at least in my experience, has very much been like Lucy holding a football for Charlie Brown. And I’m setting myself up for another disappointment. Is it better to be hopeful against all experience, or is it better to expect the worst and possibly be surprised with the world not being absolute garbage for a minute, a moment, a day?
Coming to the end of My Heart Struck Sorrow and I’m realizing how bleak it is. On the whole, I don’t jibe with nihilistic endings, but this short novel is quite desolate, though there are moments of joy in there as well. Victor LaValle just tweeted something along the lines that he can’t “trust a book with no moments of joy” (exact tweet here) and I must say I agree, even though the overall mood, theme, feel of a work might be of bleakness. Even Roberto Bolaño’s works had hilarious moments in them, or absurdist touches that enlivened the prose, heighted the darkness by contrast. But yeah, My Heart Struck Sorrow is about as bleak as it gets. Its sibling, The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky – both of which will come out in harback next year in a book entitled A Lush and Seething Hell, is already up for pre-order on the Harper Collins website – you could take a gander.