It probably doesn’t count as a real wrapup if I only went for one day (and it’s still going on), but as it so happens I live in the vicinity of Chicago and E. Kristin Anderson talked me into going. (It went something like ‘Dude, books’ and then I was like ‘…in’.) Anyway, even for one day, lots of things happened and they were fantastic! If it’s convenient for you and you love all the books, I would go. Knowing people there helps a lot, though, and admittedly it’s better if you can say you’re published 😛
Anyway, I got to meet E. for the first time in person. It’s pretty wild, considering that we have managed to write two whole books together and also work together on Dear Teen Me, but hey that’s globalization. Welcome to the future!
Fastforwarding through meeting PJ Hoover, Hannah Moskowitz, Madeline Smoot, Adam Selzer (seriously if you haven’t figured out what I’m advertising at this point, shame on you), Bollywood fangirling with Tamora Pierce, drooling over quality inking with Dave Roman and then Nate Powell, and also like fifty billion other people whose names I don’t remember because holy Batman I am so bad at names, I picked up even more books (not the smartest timing; I start work tomorrow), learned that picture book authoring is even more exciting if you don’t know what the illustrations will look like in advance, hanging out with your fans is the best and why wouldn’t you do that, librarians are awesome (although I’m pretty sure we knew that already), nerded it up with all the people, and tried to make sure my feet didn’t fall off.
Oh, also we caught the tail end of what must’ve been an absolutely fantastic panel with some big names in speculative fiction. If we hadn’t been doing other awesome things I would be crying or something right now, but the one point I would really like to share is that, when you only pay attention to things produced by people with the same ideology as you, you don’t get new ideas and that’s sad. (If I can figure out who said this I’ll add the attribution.)
Seriously, it was awesome. I was nervous—conventions generally aren’t my scene—but as it turns out giant gatherings of book lovers are not half so obsessive as hardcore fans at a hardcore fan-oriented gathering (the word I’m looking for is ‘otaku’), and also they’re familiar with making eye contact while speaking. Whew.
Also, CACTUS PIZZA.