Guillermo del Toro

Where I’m Going, Where I’ve Been

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(I should totally apologize to Joyce Carol Oates for that title.)

Hey! It’s been a crazy couple of months, which has made for a lonely little blog. But it’s been the good kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that comes with pictures to share.

Westercon

July started with a bang (ha) with a trip to San Diego for Westercon! While I’ve been to more than a couple comic conventions, I’d never been to a science fiction convention, so I didn’t really know what to expect. All I can say is, wow! What a cool experience! While most of the comic conventions I’ve been to focus on the latest pop culture experiences, Westercon was a convention about ideas. The panel topics varied from climate change to colonies on Mars. It was brainy and scientific and I absolutely loved it. One of the highlights was being on panels with William F. Nolan and Larry Niven. (!!!)  I also made some new author friends: Lisanne Norman, Fred Wiehe, Thomas Voorhies, and Jason V. Brock. Such a cool convention. If you get a chance to go next year (in Portland), definitely check it out.

Here are a couple of pics:

San Diego Comic-Con

Two days after Westercon ended, I turned around and headed back to San Diego for SDCC 2015.

Ahhh, SDCC. This year was magical to say the least. Not only were my books on display at the Random House booth:

But over the course of the con, I met Peter Capaldi, Guillermo del Toro, Tom Hiddleston, Greg Grunberg, and Curtis Armstrong. I also went to a bunch of NerdHQ panels, asked Zachary Levi to smolder, attended both Nerdist podcasts, played both Battlefront and Project Morpheus, and walked my feet off. It was amazing. Here are some pics:

Teen Lit Fest

The weekend after SDCC, I participated in Teen Lit Fest at the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert, AZ. I was just one of a dozen or so authors appearing at the event. I not only got to see a few of my friends in the AZ author community there (Tom Leveen, Bill Konigsberg, Amy Dominy, Brian Augustyn, Sara Francis-Fujimura, Mark Rude), I also made friends with new authors and chatted with a bunch of teen readers. It was a really fun event, one I hope to be invited back to in the future. Here are a couple of photos:

Payson Book Festival

And this last weekend, I traveled to northern Arizona to participate in the first ever Payson Book Festival! I shared a table with my friend and fellow author, Patricia Grady Cox, and we had a great time spending the day together up in the cool Payson pines. Here’s a pic of us at work:

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The Schrödinger Sessions: Science for Science Fiction Authors

This weekend I’ll be attending the Schrödinger Sessions at the Joint Quantum Institute a the University of Maryland. Holy guacamole, I’m getting a crash course in quantum mechanics! If I’m not too busy entangling my brain with quarks, I’m going to post some blog updates. We’ll see. If not, a full recap and pics when I get back.

WHILE YOU WERE GONE Book Launch!

To cap it all off, next Tuesday (August 4), my second novel, While You Were Gone, hits shelves! I’ll be having a couple of events in August to celebrate the launch. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for being on this journey with me!

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San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Recap

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I got back from San Diego Comic-Con Sunday night. Here it is Wednesday morning and I’m just starting to feel human again.

This was an interesting year for me at SDCC. I might even go so far as to call it pivotal. Not to wax philosophical, but I learned a lot about humanity this year. And about myself.

The biggest highlight was Random House giving out advanced copies of NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE at their booth. That was a real milestone. I was able to sign a few of those ARCs for people as well, which was a total blast. Blows my mind to think in just a few months my book will actually be out in the world.

Another highlight was the friends I made over the course of just a few days. This year I befriended two awesome guys who write for Bleeding Cool, a stem cell biologist, a geography professor, a producer for Disney, an opera singer, an astrophysicist. Really wonderful and generous people. I even camped out with some of them overnight on a sidewalk to get into Hall H for the Hobbit and Marvel panels. Nothing quite as bonding as sharing sidewalk space for 12+ hours. I really hope to see them again next year.

And then, of course, there were the celebs. I got to see Benedict Cumberbatch, had a very brief and funny encounter with Guillermo del Toro, got a photo taken with Adam Baldwin, met Stampy Longnose (my kids freaked out!). Just awesome all around.

There were a couple of things that happened this year that opened my eyes to the uglier sides of humanity, too, and brought up a lot of conflicting emotions inside. Through these situations I learned I’m stronger than I think. They also made me examine how much I’m willing to allow people to hurt me with their words and actions. My instinct is always to extend kindness in the face of inconsiderate and critical people. I learned some valuable lessons this year on protecting myself, protecting others, knowing where lines are and to stand up for myself when they’ve been crossed. I may blog more about this later. Not sure.

Despite that (or perhaps in light of it), I had a great time at SDCC14. Here is a gallery of photos I took along the way. (The Avengers pics are blurry, sorry. The place was insane. And I may have been shaking.)

Tomorrow I’m off to LA for the SCBWI conference, and I’ll have lots to say about that when I get back. In the meantime, hope you enjoy these photos.