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NYCC 2013

Okay, so here’s part of the NYCC showroom floor. Now imagine trying to meet up with a friend. It’s okay if you want to cry in a corner at the thought, but just remember – the corners are all full of people. You’ll have to wait your turn.

Okay, so here’s part of the NYCC showroom floor. Now imagine trying to meet up with a friend. It’s okay if you want to cry in a corner at the thought, but just remember – the corners are all full of people. You’ll have to wait your turn.

Here’s the thing about New York Comic Con – it’s BIG. Everyone had told me that before, but it’s hard to really wrap your brain around what 100,000 people all converging on one space really means. That’s about eight times the size of the town I live in – and it’s HUGE. I tried to go to the bathroom at the convention once. Then I saw the line and decided to hold it. Just trying to go up an escalator is a challenge – you’re moving through just a sea of humanity, with different currents all around you. And on top of that, every three steps you see something so amazing that you want to stop and check it out – usually along the lines of some incredible cosplay – so there are constant traffic jams while everyone admires a costume or takes a picture.

That’s just the entryway – then there’s the showroom, which has SO MUCH stuff – every time I went through it, I saw a new booth with incredible stuff. I think my favorite discovery was when Django Wexler and I were trying to find the popcorn booth (om nom) and bumped into the Geek Chic That was some of the most amazing furniture I’d ever seen, and I now sincerely covet one of their customized gaming tables. I also now know what Django’s first purchase will probably be if his Forbidden Library series becomes the next Harry Potter. (which it really ought to, because I love it)

Then there was Artist’s Alley, which was packed with amazing talent, beautiful artwork, and more hordes of people. (I bought one amazing poster from Sara Richard for my home office – guess which one?) There were also the panels, which filled up really fast, so if you wanted to go to one (and these weren’t the TV ones, either) you had to line up about half an hour early. Plus there was the autographing section, which honestly terrified me. So while I really would’ve liked to meet Felicia Day, the line scared me off.

Then there’s the best part of the con – meeting people! I got to meet up with lots of people who I’d already met at other cons, plus lots of new people! It was fantastic. The first thing I got to do was at the Penguin booth, where Myke Cole, Benedict Jacka, and I were signing copies of our books. Now, I thought that this meant that we’d be kind of hand-selling a little, maybe meeting some people who had brought their copies. Oh no – that’s not how Penguin rolls. The first hundred people who lined up at the booth got free copies of each of our books, that we would then sign. It was SO COOL.

That’s the start of the line, brilliantly played by my friend Rob. Rachel is right behind him. If you want to learn how to come home from a convention with sixty-five free books, learn from the masters, grasshopper. Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor

That’s the start of the line, brilliantly played by my friend Rob. Rachel is right behind him. If you want to learn how to come home from a convention with sixty-five free books, learn from the masters, grasshopper. Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor

It was a lot of fun meeting so many excited readers, and all of whom now had shiny copies of Generation V for me to sign! Hopefully people really enjoyed reading it, and also will then post reviews to Amazon and Goodreads. (hint. hint.)

This is what it looked like to be on the author side of the booth – lots of people, and Myke Cole’s derriere, preserved for posterity.

There was this weird feeling that we were being observed at all times… Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor and giant eyeball.

There was this weird feeling that we were being observed at all times… Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor and giant eyeball.

I was going to lunch with Django right afterwards, so here’s a picture of all of us – and Myke couldn’t resist pretending to write on Benedict’s face. (probably: “For incredible British cheekbones, see above”) You can also see Django making sure that his model Swarmer from The Forbidden Library made it into the photo.

Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor, and the time-honored tradition of tormenting British people. Benedict’s thought-bubble should be: “Cursed colonials.”

Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor, and the time-honored tradition of tormenting British people. Benedict’s thought-bubble should be: “Cursed colonials.”

But Benedict ended up going to lunch with us, so all was forgiven. He also did me a huge solid late that night of helping me navigate the subway back to Forest Hills, where I was staying with family. Now, if you’re a New Yorker, you might be saying to yourself – “Manhattan to Forest Hills? That’s stupid-easy – get on either the E or the F and it takes you straight there.” And, valid point. Except for the part where my powers of navigation are so horrendous that I routinely (routinely!) get lost in parking garages. And just to find my car again in parking garages, I usually draw a little pirate map for myself. It takes me a long time to orient myself to areas enough to just find my way along a regular route comfortably, and as for making logical variations on that route? Such as, “Well, if I’ve been getting on the E train at 34th Street, why not just pick it up further down the line?” – yeah, that takes a while. (my navigation was so insanely shitty the second night that Django Wexler actually asked how much I’d had to drink – three sodas. Epic fail.)

The next day was the Geek Geek Revolution panel – very fun! It was me, Django, Myke, Anton Strout, Andrea Cremer aka A. D. Robertson, and Alex London. (Mia Garcia did a fantastic job as moderator, but I unfortunately don’t have a picture of her)

And there we all are! The loser of the contest had to wear the Jar Jar mask of shame. Sorry, Alex. But Myke was pretty intent on not losing. Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor.

And there we all are! The loser of the contest had to wear the Jar Jar mask of shame. Sorry, Alex. But Myke was pretty intent on not losing. Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor.

Other highlights include an absolutely delightful author dinner where Diana Rowland made me laugh so hard I nearly fell out of my chair. So a really fun convention! I’m bummed that I won’t be able to attend NYCC next year, but one of my best friends has decided to get married that weekend, and since I’m in the bridal party, I’ll be somewhat busy. This was my last con of 2013, and I really had such an amazing time at all three that I attended. I’m putting together my list of cons that I’m hoping to attend in 2014 – mostly drivable within the New England/Tri-State area, but I’ll probably do one travel con. I’m giving serious consideration to DragonCon, so I’ll post my con schedule when I have it.

In other news – this is the release day of my friend Matthew Quinn Martin’s debut urban fantasy/horror novel, Nightlife! So definitely go check it out! Fun fact, Matthew and I used to teach at the same college, and we shared office space. We got very little actual work done, but we did have a fantastic time talking about writing and constructing monsters. I have it on excellent authority that Matthew’s take on vampires is nightmare-worthy.

My favorite cosplay at the con. Look how adorable she is! And as soon as her mom gave us permission to take pictures, that was exactly the pose she struck. Loved it. Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor.

My favorite cosplay at the con. Look how adorable she is! And as soon as her mom gave us permission to take pictures, that was exactly the pose she struck. Loved it. Photo generously provided by Richard Shealy, SFWA-registered copyeditor.

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Iron Night: Locked Off

Iron Night released cover big version

On Monday night, I scanned and emailed my corrected page proofs to Roc, so Iron Night is now officially locked off! I’ve made my last changes, hopefully I’ve caught all of the biggest problems, and now it’s out of my hands. I remember being at this place before with Generation V, but it felt different then – at the point when I was finally hands-off with Generation V, I had to move straight back into work on other projects. Right now, just because of where things fell, I actually am getting a bit of a breather. The manuscript of Book 3 is with my editor, and I won’t get notes back on it for probably another month or two. I already have a bit of a list of notes on it from my readers and my agent, so I have a feeling that I’ll probably be doing some more extensive fixes on this one, but I’m happy to take a break from it (just for a little while!) so that when I come back to it later, I can have look at it with fresher eyes.

This is also a bit of a nervous point in the process, because while I’ve spent about a year in total working on Iron Night, and my direct involvement in the writing has now come to an end, it won’t be hitting bookstores until January, and since the ARCs (advanced reader’s copies) haven’t been produced yet, I haven’t gotten any “real” reader feedback yet. I’m really excited about this book, and I’ll definitely be doing more posts and dropping more hints about its content as we get closer to the release date, but mostly I can’t wait to see what people think about where I’m taking Fort and Suzume.

I’m going to be starting to work on publicity for Iron Night soon, so I’ll be getting a chance to talk with all my favorite bloggers again, and hopefully also try and get some bookstore events scheduled as well. Should be exciting, and I’ll get going on that next week.

Also coming up – New York Comic Con! I’m so excited about this! Thanks to support from a local businessman (my uncle in Forest Hills is letting me sleep on his sofa – thanks, Uncle Alan!) I’ll be in town on Friday and Saturday.

Here’s my schedule right now:

Thursday, October 10

Work ends at 6:50pm, head down to New York.

Friday, October 11

11:00am – 12:00pm: “FRIDAY FIRSTS” PENGUIN SIGNING (BOOTH 2129 )
First in series signing with M.L. Brennan (Generation V) and Benedict Jacka (Fated)
If you’ll be anywhere in the area, come and say hello to me! I’d love to sign your book or even just give you one of my cards!

That's a real inducement, isn't it? Yeah, look at it. This could be yours!

That’s a real inducement, isn’t it? Yeah, look at it. This could be yours!

7:45pm-?: Private dinner

Saturday, October 12

12:00-1:00 PM: GEEK GEEK REVOLUTION (ROOM 1A17)
Speakers: Mia Garcia, A.D. Robertson aka Andrea Cremer, Django Wexler, Alex London, Myke Cole, Anton Strout, M.L. Brennan

Description: GEEK REVOLUTION is a no-holds-barred geek culture game show featuring six science fiction/fantasy authors competing for the chance to be TOP GEEK. In addition the audience members will be asked to ‘write-in’ questions in hopes of stumping the authors and winning a prize pack of books. Hold onto your hats, nerf herders, this might get ugly.

This is looking like so much fun, and I’m really looking forward to it! If you are going to be at NYCC, this had better be one of your required stops!

So that’s what’s planned so far – if you have an event or a party that you think I should be attending, tell me about it!

In other news, after working pretty frantically all summer, I actually had some downtime after I submitted the Book 3 manuscript. This meant that I was able to get some reading done! I love writing, and it’s very exciting when I’m in the middle of a project, but it does mean that my reading time gets pretty significantly cut back! Here is a list of the books I read since finishing the Book 3 manuscript:

The Age of Ice – J.M. Sidorova
Redshirts – John Scalzi
Who Gets What: Fair Compensation After Tragedy an Financial Upheaval – Kenneth Feinberg
Throne of the Crescent Moon – Saladin Ahmed
Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler
Dushau – Jacqueline Lichtenberg
House of Zeor – Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Old Man’s War – John Scalzi
Shades of Milk and Honey – Mary Robinette Kowal
Darkborn – Alison Sinclair
Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
(currently reading) The Summer Prince – Alaya Dawn Johnson

Have you read any of these books yourself? If so, what did you think?

The evolution of Fortitude Scott. I mean that in every sense, but more specifically, in the evolution of his cover model. Hiyo!

The evolution of Fortitude Scott. I mean that in every sense, but more specifically, in the evolution of his cover model. Hiyo!