So this week begins the pure madness of my convention season.
Amanda and I did the math a few days ago and realized that between now and mid-September, I’m only home for 15 days. And those days are not all in a row.
First on the docket is…
- San Diego Comic Con
I’ve made a habit of SDCC for years now, but this year I’m trying something a little different.
Because I hate being away from my family for large swaths of time, Sarah, Oot, and Cutie Snoo are coming with me to the con.
(The shirt was a gift. Honestly.)
Because I don’t normally travel with my kids, I think this would be a good time to establish some ground rules. Okay?
1. Being off-duty.
One of the main reasons I go to conventions is to see/hang out with/interact with my readers. I like meeting you guys.
That said, one of the *other* reasons I like going to conventions has nothing to do with you. It’s simply that I like going I like going to conventions. I like wandering the dealer’s room, looking at stuff, hanging out with my friends, and just being a geek.
Does that mean that I resent it when someone comes up to me in the dealer’s hall and asks for a picture or an autograph? No. Not really.
But you have to realize that sometimes I’m in a hurry to get somewhere. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I haven’t eaten all day. Sometimes I’m enjoying the only free time I have available all day. Sometimes I’m just trying to get to the bathroom and you’re the third person to stop me in the hallway.
That means that if I beg off, and say, “No, I’m sorry, not right now.” You have to respect that.
I’m not saying you have to be delighted. I get that you might *really* have your heart set of getting a picture with me and the nearby statue of Sailor Moon. But it could be I’m late to a panel. It could be I only have 25 minutes to eat some food before I’ve got an interview. It could just be that I’m really, really weary and not feeling very social at the moment.
Let me put it this way. While at many points in the convention I am absolutely all-the-way there just for you. At other times I’m not. And if you hit me in one of those *not* times, I’m well within my rights to politely decline your request.
To simplify, when I’m at a convention, I exist in two possible states:
On Duty – Signing stuff. Doing panels. Taking pictures. Playing games.
Off Duty But Approachable – With the understanding that I might not be up for anything right now.
But now we have a third option, too: With My Family
If you see me at the convention and I’m carrying a baby, or pushing a stroller, or sharing an ice cream cone with my son that means I’m With My Family. During these times you should probably consider me extra-off duty.
Can we exchange companionable nods with one other? Sure. Can you offer up a geek solidarity fist bump? Absolutely.
But asking me to pose for a picture, sign a book, or explain the best way to get an agent? Not so much.
2. Don’t touch my kids.
I know. My children are fucking adorable. It’s like their mutant power.
And I know that wanting to touch kids is a totally normal mammalian response.
And I also know that a lot of you feel a connection with me, and with my kids. You’ve seen pictures of them. You’ve read stories about Cutie on facebook and seen the #OotSays hashtag on Twitter.
But seriously. Don’t touch them. I don’t know you. We don’t want them getting convention plague. And more likely than not, a stranger coming up and pawing at them is just going to freak them out.
And you *really* don’t want to see my grizzly bear type protective dad instincts kick in. You really don’t. Really. You don’t want to spend comic con in the hospital, and I don’t need the bad press.
So. Consider this fair warning. Tell your friends.
* * *
- My San Diego Comic Con Schedule
Thursday, July 24
4-5pm Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy Room: 25ABC
With Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie, Raymond E. Feist, Django Wexler, Morgan Rhodes, Sam Sykes, Moderated by Brent Weeks
5:30-6:30pm Signing table, AA09
Friday, July 25
1:30-2:30pm Playing Gloom with Geek and Sundry
JOLT ‘N JOES
379 4TH AVENUE, SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
Saturday, July 26
1-3pm Signing at Badali’s booth – #532
4:15-5:15pm Rulers of the Realm Final, Room 6A
With Joe Abercrombie, Diana Gabaldon, Lev Grossman, George R.R. Martin, and moderated by Ali T. Kokmen.
Other booths where I tend to lurk:
- Mysterious Galaxy: #1119
- Penguin Booth: #1028
- Badali: #532
- Geek Chic: #4928
- Thinkgeek: #3849
- Karen Hallion: Artist’s Alley BB-11
If anything else comes up, I’ll probably just tweet about it.
- Spain: Madrid and Aviles
After San Diego, I’ll be going straight to Spain.
First, I’ll be doing a live interview on Espacio Fundación Telefónica on Tuesday, July 29th.
The show starts at 19:00 (UTC+02) and it will also be broadcast on their podcast channel, so you can listen to it from anywhere. For more details, the podcast, and a chance to get tickets, visit their site at http://espacio.fundaciontelefonica.com/.
Then, I’ll be headed to Aviles to Celsius 232. From what I’ve heard, it’s a really cool con. What’s more, it has no badges or entrance fees, so anyone who is in the area can come see me.
Thursday, July 31
1:15 PM – 2:00 PM Adventures of the Princess Panel. Carpa de Actividades.
Conducted by Jorge Ivan Argiz.
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Signing in the Carpa de Actividades.
Friday, August 1
10 AM – 12 PM Signing in the Carpa de Actividades.
6:15 PM -7:30 PM The Works of Patrick Rothfuss. Casa de la Cultura.
Conducted by Diego Garcia Cruz.
Saturday, August 2
10 AM t – 12 PM Signing in the Carpa de Actividades
6:15 PM -7:30 PM Three Different Approaches to Fantasy. Casa de la Cultura.
With Brandon Sanderson and Joe Abercrombie. Conducted by Cristina Macia and Jorge Ivan Argiz in the Casa de la Cultura
Hope to see some of you soon….