CONduit was a blast this year, and now that I’ve slept it off I can write something cogent about it. Here are some highlights:
1) My reading was pretty well-attended. Instead of reading a chunk of Mr. Monster (since most of the people there had already finished the book), I read a short story I wrote for my German publisher. The story’s called “Gloria,” and it’s technically a Christmas story. The audience spent their time cringing and laughing nervously, and when I finished somebody said, “wow, you’re a lot creepier than I thought.” Yay! I also read a chunk of Mr. Monster, but it didn’t have any real info in it, so it was mostly just a tease.
2) They had three local podcasts scheduled to do interviews, but only one of them showed up: Dungeon Crawlers Radio. Thankfully, the Dungone Crawlers were professional enough that they totally made up for everyone else. They were also very cool guys, and we had a great time, and my interview stretched to something like 20 minutes. I’ll make sure to link it here when the interview goes live.
3) Our Writing Excuses panel was huge–they had to bring in extra chairs, it was so big. I’m sure this was greatly helped by the fact that my two co-hosts are the guest of honor and the Mistborn/Wheel of Time guy. We recruited the Dungeon Crawlers to help out with the recording, and we recorded two episodes: the first one with lovely guest star Aprilynne Pike, currently sitting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The second was a Q&A with the fun theme of “Stump Howard,” starring our perennial guest star Eric James Stone, who’s been on the show often enough to count as a fourth musketeer. I thought it turned out to be one of our best episodes.
4) I had a long conversation with Ming the Merciless about Hatch Green Chilies. Only at CONduit.
5) My signing was pretty surreal: I was crammed into a narrow hallway with Brandon Sanderson, Dave Wolverton, Lee Modesitt, and Elisabeth Waters. It was completely bizarre, and completely awesome, to be among that group as a peer, and even more awesome when I realized that I was keeping pace with some of them (though honestly, that was mostly because the other authors attracted the crowd and I was just lucky enough to be sitting there with a stack of books and a pen). Eventually Brandon realized that even though he was signing more books, I was selling more books, at which point he proceeded to stab me in the neck with my own promotional button.
6) I saw most of my regular posters there, and it was great to see them all again. I even finally convinced Donna to buy a copy of the book, though it remains to be seen if she’ll actually read it. I promise it’s not as scary as you think. (Yes it is, just don’t tell her that.) They invited me out for dinner both nights, and I regretfully had to decline–my poor wife was home alone with all four kids, the youngest of whom was sick. Next time, I promise.
7) My one and only panel was called “The Science of Evil,” which turned out to be so interesting as a theoretical topic that it was very hard to keep us focused on it as a writing topic. I did have an opportunity to talk about my favorite infanticide story, by the hilarious Jeff Strand, so all’s well that ends well, I guess.