Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Lurking in the audience at your con. Not creepy at all.

I love going to cons: fan, lit, gaming, comic, anime, and all other cons. Like, love love those things. My family and I attend the local science fiction literary convention here in Austin every summer, and have for roughly the last 20 years. I've been to World Con, PAX South, ApolloCon, AggieCon, Chupacabracon, A-KON, OwlCon, and, most recently, Coastal Magic in Florida.

Only one time have I been invited to attend a con as as writer. (Thank you, Coastal Magic 2019. I just want to hug the whole idea of you!)

Let me tell you, being a writer at a con is a trip and a half. Don't know if it was my lofty seat at the panelist table or having that featured-writer color-coded badge (eee!) that turned the whole universe on its head, but for four whole days, other writers didn't run away from me when I smiled at them. Even better, when I approached a group of them, they didn't huddle in closer toward each other and desperately ignore me, as if I might suddenly break in and force them to listen to an impromptu pitch for my 400k-word unpublished epic about squirrels. I mean, they let me into their conversations, even sometimes invited me! Also, readers struck up conversations with me, and most were kind enough to ask about my books. When I went to panels other than mine and sat in the audience, the panelists treated my questions seriously, as if that badge magically meant that I have a clue what's going on. (I don't.) It was... I dunno, like an alternate universe.

Also, I most likely won't do it again.

For one thing, it was really expensive, and if we are being gentle, we could describe my career thus far as one hell of an IRS deduction. And in terms other than money -- expertise, wisdom, that sort of thing -- I'm not fancy enough to do this on the regular. I still feel like a noob who needs to learn so much and is completely undeserving of that alternate-universe level of respect.

So yes, you are likely to run into me at a con. (I couldn’t avoid those cuties if I tried.) But no, you probably won't realize you did.*

* Unless we make arrangements and text each other, and then I will buy you a drink at the bar and you can tell me all about your squirrel epic. I love squirrels. Chupacabracon in May, ArmadilloCon in August: if you're going to either one, let me know and we'll meet up!


  1. So, you'll be the great-and-powerful-author behind the green curtain. Cool! I like those kinds of authors, too. :)

    1. Haha, yes the complete faker. That's me! :D

    2. lol! I'd meant the mysterious mastermind kind that only a few get to see. ;)

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    4. Gotcha! Well, that *would* be cool.