Monday, July 11, 2005
Hi From Denver & CBA
Howdy, BGs, from Denver. I’ve spent the weekend at the ChiLibris retreat, and tomorrow the convention starts in earnest.
Last night the Christy Awards banquet was held. Always a fun time. But I had a special treat. I got to meet a BG. And lemme tell ya, did I make an impression. Twice.
First, at the beginning of the evening, I saw the guy’s name. Stuart Stockton. My little pea brain (which was already on overload after being in meetings for two days) says, “Hm, I know that name.” He’s looking at me, so I introduce myself with the normal niceties, while my brain has now fallen into one of those panicked chants. Agent? Editor? Media guy? Of course I can’t remember the answer (that brain overload thingy again), so finally I spit out, “Now remind me who you are? An editor?” Before he can answer, my brain does this boingy bingo! He’s a BG! And not just any BG. I happen to be using Stuart’s science fiction book in my new series (yes, the Paige novel). One of the colorful characters in Kanner Lake is writing a science fiction novel, and it’s actually Stuart’s story. Stuart has given me interesting tidbits about his sci-fi world, and how a person would say this or that in his sci-fi language. Made this minor character quite interesting.
Anyway, so now I’m feeling like a total idiot. “Hey, Stuart Stockton, my Saurian world guy!” I’m still pumping his hand. He was quite gracious about the whole thing. Truth was, I had no idea he would be there, didn’t even know he lived in the area. Just didn't know to be looking for the guy.
I’m not sure this qualifies as an excuse, but it’s the best I can do.
So then—fast forward to end of evening. I’m standing again with Stuart and some other folks, and I meet Terry Burns (from ACFW) and his wife. Now Terry’s not a very tall guy, with white hair. So then I get pulled away from this group to somewhere else, then realize I need to be getting to a meeting. (Yes, a meeting after the Christy’s. What a wacky time, but so goes the weekend.) So I breeze by Stuart, who’s still standing with a kinda short man with white hair. I see this group out of my peripheral vision. So I say goodbye again to Stuart and tell Terry again it was great to meet him. The white-haired man turns and gives me a very blank stare, like you talkin’ to me? Then I realize it’s not Terry. It’s someone I haven’t met. So of course I then must introduce myself and explain my (second) social gaffe. By now I just know that Stuart’s thinking I’m really quite insane. Which I am. But, dressed as I was in a full length black evening gown, it would have been nice to come off at least as possessing half a brain.
Ah, well, there’s always next year.
In her comment from Friday, Becky asked what an author does at CBA. Well, today and tomorrow I will be on the CBA floor. My signing at the Zondervan booth is on Tuesday. Today I have meetings/interviews most of the day.
The convention is convenient because it brings together everyone in the industry. So it’s an optimum time to meet with your agent, your editor, your marketing folks, do media interviews, and generally schmooze with all the bookstore folks who are there. I started the schmoozing part yesterday at the hotel. I had an extra box of Dead of Night copies to give away, so I gave ’em to folks in the restaurant or lobby who said they liked reading suspense. Met some interesting people.
Tomorrow I sign for an hour at the Zondervan booth. Z brings about 100 books, and bookstore folks line up for their free copies. It’s always a very quick hour, with me signing like mad. Fun time. This year I get to sign at the same time as Jim Bell (James Scott Bell). Jim and I are good pals, and I fully intend to razz him the entire hour. The bookstore folks will look at us strangely, but they actually enjoy the show. CBA retailers have long since learned that the novelists are the unpredictable, crazy ones, and their signing lines are far more fun than those stodgy and normal nonfiction authors.
Referring back to comments from Friday—I noted the suggestions for future topics. I’m not forgetting y’all. Lurkers Marian and Emily, thanks for coming up for air and commenting on our AS edit. And Becky asked about Paige. Paige is doing well, thank you. Well, actually, she’s not doing well, but her novel is coming along just fine and is now over 2/3 done. My problem is I have little time to write in July because of all my traveling. But somehow I must.
Tomorrow I’ll write you more about CBA. Thanks, BGs, for hanging in here with me between fiction craft topics. Our AS edit was a fun exercise, but I must admit it took quite a bit of my time. So I’m glad to know it helped people.
Lotsa love and see y’all Tuesday.