Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I've Got Me Covered!
First of all I want to apologize for being absent for two weeks. You see, it started with Opus (can you hear a crescendo of ominous music?) Opus is a local con which has been on hiatus for a year or two and has now restarted with a new emphasis on the literary track of things.
The program organizer asked me to be toastmaster and I was quite glad to oblige. The guest of honor was the husband and wife writing team of Ilona Gordon and Andrew Gordon, who write as Ilona Andrews. I’d never met them, but it turns out they’re very nice people and the con was all around lovely. So how did the trouble start with them, you ask?
Well it wasn’t their fault and to be honest it wasn’t even the hotel’s fault either. You see, I’m deathly allergic to feathers, one of those things that seems to get worse every time I’m exposed to them. So normally I make it a point of checking all the bedding in a hotel for feathers before I go to bed. Only this time we just checked the pillows, and called the desk for replacements. It didn’t occur to me to check the coverlet because it didn’t feel like feathers. It wasn’t till the second night, when I woke up struggling to breathe, assumed it was a return of pneumonia, and was about to ask Dan to drive me to emergency, that I decided to check the coverlet which was... yep, feathers.
The end result of this is that my reaction was so severe I spent the next week recovering. And then we went to Luna con.
It had been planned a long time and I would have written something in advance, except for the allergy in between.
At any rate Lunacon was an odd con for me. Normally – with some exceptions where I attend because I like the place/people – I go to cons with a list of people to meet, business to discuss – that sort of thing. I went to Lunacon to see Dave Freer and meet his wife, Barbs, because NY is ever so much cheaper than South Africa.
As far as that went, it was a lovely con as I got to hang out with the Freers and see friends I hadn’t seen for a good while, like Esther Friesner and Kate Paulk. And I got to meet Sean Kinsell, whom I’ve known on line for some years and who is not a professional writer. (Something I predict will not last long, as he’s halfway through his first novel and he’s that very annoying thing in a beginning writer – a natural.) And I got to visit with my lovely agent, Lucienne, and have a nice meeting with one of my editors, Ginjer Buchanan. I also got to attend the Baen dinner, something that always feels a bit like going home for dinner with mom and dad, because it’s relaxing, friendly and there’s a strong sense of belonging – for all of us, I think.
However with one thing and another – and with the help of such reprobates as friend (and Dave Freer’s agent) Mike Kabongo and his Australian client Chris McMahon who helped us behave at our most interesting and almost get tossed out of the hotel restaurant at breakfast for disorderly-and-no-one-would-believe-we’re-not-drunk conduct – I was in no state to do any work come Monday. Which was good. And bad. Good because I was still on vacation. Bad because Dan had planned the next leg of it: the visit to New York City.
This is where you should hear, in the background, the plangent tones of “Mothers, don’t let your daughters marry mathematicians.” Dan’s idea of a vacation is a time that’s planned to the last second, usually packed with improving experiences or – heaven forfend – “fun.” Which is why I normally don’t let him plan vacations. However, since we had two and a half days to show New York City to the kids (our vacation time being at a premium this year) his style of organization was called for.
It was fun, but also exhausting, and by the time we got home under a blizzard, on Thursday, all of us were walking zombies.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the dog who ate my homework... er... I mean, why I’ve been absent so long.
Of course, I reserved the best piece of news for last. During Lunacon, my older son was looking through the art show and came back to me to tell me the cover for my next Baen novel, the Space Opera Darkships Thieves was in the prints section.
Being me, I assumed he was dreaming it. I hadn’t seen the cover yet and – as the book is scheduled for next January – it was not likely to exist yet. So I made him take me back there and... Yep, it’s my cover. It’s also a gorgeous piece of artwork and so incredibly appropriate to the book I think I was walking on air the rest of the con. (I felt a little bad because I think my publisher, Toni Weisskopf, meant to surprise me with it during the Baen slide show. However, it’s a good thing I’d seen it a day before, as otherwise I’d been speechless and unable to talk during the show.)
I’m very fond of the book – no, it’s not a given just because one writes it – and its characters, and now I’m very happy it’s getting the very best of covers.
In the near future, I’ll be having t-shirts printed with it and giving my fans a chance to win them.
And for now, this is it. I shall return to the business of writing – and making sense – next week.