Recent and Upcoming Events – July 2012

Just returned from Fandom Fest in Louisville. That was a fun convention but due to organizational issues, the literary track was seriously under-attended. While there were at least ten thousand people there for the con, the organizers didn’t have a cohesive guide or schedule for any of it and the authors were somewhat shunted off away from the main thoroughfare so that there wasn’t even the possibility of lookee-loos. I mean, a Q&A panel with John Scalzi with ten attendees? Or one with Richard Kadrey with nine? Not to mention my panels.

EDITED TO ADD: I think Stephen Zimmer did a fantastic job putting together a great list of authors and exciting panels. I just think the event organizers sabotaged that through a lack of foresight and planning.

So it was an expensive trip for naught. A wash-out, really. But I met a lot of really great folks, especially Delilah Dawson, Robert A. Palmer and Jonathan Latt. The last two were my boys during the weekend and we hung pretty tight. Robert’s film, People of Earth screened there. It was by far the best film I saw that weekend. I also had the opportunity to reacquaint myself with Maurice Broaddus and Brady Allen.

So, if you didn’t already know, This Dark Earth, released on July 3rd into the wilds of booksellerdom. Feel free to visit this page and get yourself a copy from your preferred vendor. I’ve received ecstatic reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Kirkus. I hope the sales begin to match the praise.

Next week, I’m off to San Diego Comic Con for five days. Hopefully, this convention will yield more results than Fandom Fest. If you’re attending you can check out the panel I’m moderating here and find out how to get to it.

It should be quite fun.

I’m approaching the end to the second novel in my young adult trilogy, Incarcerado. As always, it’s difficult to do all the things I have to do to my characters because, of course, I love them and they’re part of me. On the other hand, I gotta put them through hell.

I’m gonna try and make bloggery more. Hopefully I’ll have some big news in the coming days. It’s possible. Everything is possible.

Later, taters.



  • John-

    You pretty much summed up my thoughts about Louisville. While my wife and I enjoyed the weekend and had great access to some incredible writers, it was sinful to have so few attending the panels, Q&As, etc. A terrible shame…

    On the plus side, you can now count me amongst your fans. I saw “Southern Gods” being placed on the Joseph-Beth table Friday night and was immediately drawn to it: Lovecraft and the Blues? Yes, please! My wife and I really enjoyed your Q&A with Richard Kadrey and were trying to decide where to find you to get some books signed when you happened along the Joseph-Beth table and were kind enough to sign a couple for us there.

    Thanks again and I hope Comic Con is going well for you!

  • Steven – thanks for your attendance and support! I really appreciate it. It’s the diehard folks like you that made it fun.

    Don’t be a stranger!

  • I’m glad you came. Sorry it was a wash for you. I do think Fandom Fest brought in a better and wider group of authors this year. Don’t know how to drive in more attendees to panels though. Maybe the scifi fantasy fiction element is lost on the predominately horror crowd. Of course they would have loved your work and the other authors too.

    I hope all of you come back. The third time around should be enough to work out any kinks.

  • I’m glad I came too, but balancing out the expense with the number of panel attendees and book sales, it wasn’t worth it.

    I’m sure you already know this, but most conventions work like this: you register and you’re handed a package, maybe a bag with some schwag in it but not always, with a comprehensive schedule of every activity and a map of the building show where each room with events will take place. The schedule and map are important because they allow you to plan your days at the con and they provide you with a top level view of everything going on.

    There was none of that when I checked in and I don’t recall seeing any, though I could be mistaken. To me, it seemed like the whole event was geared around when and where Norman Reedus was signing – and even the signage for those events were written on printer paper in Sharpie. So, no, on the whole, I don’t think they were well organized and I think that caused the literary track to be woefully unattended. But maybe I went in expecting too much.

    It was fun getting to hand out with you, though, Rob. I had a great time serving up the zombies.

  • You know I did have to print off the map and schedule from an online pdf so you’re right. They need a printed map in the itinetary.

    And just picked me up a frame for my lilnocut. Gracias.

  • I’ve attended cons for over 20 years and I’ve never seen a convention like this. My wife and I paid a hundred bucks to get in and were handed bracelets that had to last for THREE DAYS and nothing else. No program guide, no schedules, no maps, nothing. If she hadn’t printed out the track listings and maps that Stephen Zimmer was kind enough to email her, we would have been completely in the dark.

    Like I said, it was nice to be able to get into the panels and have access to some incredible writers but it was a shame for that caliber of talent to have to speak in empty rooms. Hell, in some of the panels, the speakers outnumbered the audience. A terrible shame…

    Stephen did a great job lining the show up, but the organization isn’t very well run and I seriously doubt we’ll go back. We had fun and I now know about John and Ernest Cline, but there are too many other cons out there for us to attend.

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