Friday morning before the show floor opened, I got a handcart and wheeled the two cases of free KRYPTON paperbacks over to our table in the convention center. The first 90 attendees at the “Spotlight on Kevin J. Anderson” panel received one. The room was packed, standing-room only; my friend Steven L. Sears (Exec Producer of XENA) interviewed me and then we opened the floor to questions. Afterward, I did another signing in the main autographing pavilion.
The room starts to fill for the KJA Spotlight panel
Being interviewed by Steven L Sears (photo by Sandy Auden)
Brian and I filmed an interview for MSN at the Tor Booth, then we each did a phone interview for a newspaper. Jan explored the con, took a lot of photos, and helped us at the booth.
Throughout the weekend, Byron Merritt and Rebecca manned our table in Artists Alley, giving out WINDS OF DUNE backpacks, Roswell Six posters, EDGE OF THE WORLD post-it notes, and sold books. Brian and I spent time at the table as often as our schedules allowed, and Jan also came to help. I broke away a few times to go talk with other editors along publishers’ row, and then I went to the California Browncoats booth and donated some books and t-shirts for their charity auction and their volunteers. Tim and Diane, along with Shawn Gordon, worked the main table in the dealer’s room for my various books, ProgRock Records, Roswell Six, and the line of t-shirts designed by Rebecca and Tim.
Rebecca and Byron at the Artists Alley table
Diane and Tim with Shawn Gordon at the main table (photo by Sandy Auden)
We had lunch with comics and gaming author Rachel Stavis at the “Cafe Diem,” a regular local diner that had been commandeered and entirely redecorated by the SyFy Channel to fit with the theme of the convention; it was quite an extravagant effort. Rachel used to live near us and was our guest at New Year’s Eve and other parties, and now she’s riding high in LA. That night we had dinner with Brian, Jan, and Byron just in the Hilton restaurant (which was actually quite good).
Friday night, Rebecca and I were invited to a launch party from Hyperion Books to celebrate the new installment in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to be written by Eoin Colfer (best known for his “Artemis Fowl” series of books); Eoin was charming and funny. We also chatted with publicist Colleen Lindsay, artist James Owens, Sue Rostoni from Lucasfilm and fellow Star Wars authors Troy Denning, Dan Wallace, and Alexander Irvine. We also had our first “pan-galactic gargle blaster” (though I switched to beer soon afterward…they had Stone Levity Ale on tap). We got back to the hotel late, but caught a few hours of sleep before our breakfast meeting the next morning.
Eoin Colfer, Kevin, Rebecca
Coffee, juice, and a breakfast buffet on Saturday morning with John Goodwin from Galaxy Press and the Writers of the Future Contest (both of us have been judges for many years). Then back to the booth in time for the opening of the convention center, where I sat with Byron and Rebecca, signing books for the fans who kept coming by. We also met up with Sandy Auden, a friend from the UK, who had written several interviews and articles about my work over the years. Brian arrived a little later, then Jan came by. Our Guest Relations escorts Brandon and Jaz fought the mobs to go get us Starbucks and deli sandwiches in time for us to eat before our 11 AM “Dune” panel.
At the “Dune” panel, Brian and I set up the large poster of the WINDS OF DUNE cover on the table, and people crowded forward to take pictures. Jan was also there to take photos. It was crazy, and we posed and mugged for the cameras for about five minutes before we had to start the panel, talking about the Dune books and our upcoming projects, including an update and description of HELLHOLE. Throughout the weekend, Tor Books gave out a thousand WINDS OF DUNE string backpacks, and we saw many people wearing them amongst the crowds on the show floor.
Catching our breath on the show floor (photo by Sandy Auden)
I did manage to take some time to talk with editors at Del Rey and Orbit as well as two of my publicists. Brian and I pre-signed 70 copies of WINDS OF DUNE for the people at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, so they could have autographed books on the release date (Aug 4). We then signed books back at the table until the show floor closed, and Rebecca and I had dinner with a large group of people, hosted by Highlander Films. We sat with actors Tony Todd (Candyman, The Rock, Transformers 2), Phil LaMarr (Pulp Fiction, MAD TV, Futurama), and Vic Chao (24, Middle Man), and Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager). It was a fantastic and relaxing dinner. We also had a good conversation with our friend Harry Kloor, whose animated movie Quantum Quest is about to be released.
Sunday morning started with a group breakfast at the Westgate Hotel hosted by the Devil’s Candy Store including artists Dave Dorman, Scott Hampton, Chris Moeller, and others. The quiet time didn’t last long, however, because Shawn Gordon had trouble getting back into the floor with his badge, so I had to make phone calls to get it straightened out. Rebecca and I rushed back from breakfast to get to the table, which Byron had already set up.
We might have expected Sunday to be a quiet wind-down day, but we had our biggest crowds at the table. Brian and I had another panel in the afternoon, interviewed by Scott Brick, then another Q&A session, and back to the table for the last two hours of autographing before the show floor closed.
The attendees cheered when the con was officially declared over (and the red-shirted security guards started herding people out). Rebecca, Shawn, Diane, Tim, and I all scrambled to pack our remaining books, posters, and t-shirts into boxes (we had sold and distributed about 2/3 of our merchandise), then did a caravan, wheeling carts and plodding along back to our car. Hard-working Phil and Ed came by to help us with the loading and hauling, and we quickly packed up the car. Tim and Diane drove off, heading for Las Vegas where they spent the night (arriving at the Excalibur at 1 AM), then drove home the next day.
We had a last dinner in the hotel restaurant with Brian and Jan, and Scott Brick and Wendy Carter; Scott recorded an interview with Brian and me to be included at the end of the unabridged version of HOUSE CORRINO, forthcoming from Tantor Audio. Reb and I had a quiet evening in the room, but we were a bit too shell-shocked to enjoy it.
Coffee. Breakfast bar. Airport. Flight. Home. Unpack. Crash.