Saturday, October 27, 2012

Comic Con 2012

So they didn't hold the New York Comic Con at the above building...but how cool would that have been? Granted all those people could never have fit, but then it really couldn't have been much more crowded. I took this photo while walking through the streets of New York. Thought it ought to be the home of something like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or something, but then I had such thoughts on my mind given that I was in town for a book signing and panel at Comic Con.

Saturday night I met with, Raymond Rose, a fan of my books, and his wonderful wife. The two came to the city from western Pennsylvania, only to realize they'd misplaced their con tickets. After trying and failing to get in, they were understandably disappointed. Raymond, who I've connected with on Goodreads a few times, contacted me with this unhappy tale and asked to have dinner. I doubt a quiet dinner in Little Italy with Robin and I was much of a consolation prize for coming all that way, paying for and failing to get into Comic Con, but I hoped it helped.  

The next day, thinking I had plenty of time to get there, my wife and I had a leisurely breakfast at a little diner on the other side of Manhatten where we were staying. Turns out I was wrong and we had to jump in a cab and race across town. Sitting in the back seat of a New York cab when the driver knows the passenger is in a huge hurry, is like sitting on a couch watching someone else play Grand Theft Auto

We made the trip then had to fight the crowds waiting in droves on the sidewalks to get in. Racing for the secret author's entrance--the blue entrance as it was known--we jumped in got our badges and scrambled to find the Orbit booth. I arrived one minute late for the signing and felt a bit like a rock star walking out on stage before a waiting crowd. 

There actually was a line. 

This was unexpected. It's not like I'm Neil Gaiman and have thousands of fans, but we did go though all fifty books Orbit had on hand in under twenty minutes. There was never a moment when I wasn't signing, shaking hands, or talking to a reader, (sometimes all three) and the folks from Orbit were doing a great job of moving the line along. 

I was torn between wishing those getting the books were fans who had already read them, and hoping they were all new readers, so I could expand my plans for world literary domination.

Turned out to be a mix. And I was surprised. I almost never meet those who have already read my books, so this was a real treat. 

Afterwards Robin and I were on a panel about publishing. A lot of aspiring writers in the crowd, who I think were pleased with the discussion, which centered mostly on how to get published, or how to self-publish, and what to do after that. I think my role was just to make the unpublished authors  feel better. When I told them my story, they all looked a little happier in that, holy-crap-I-hope-I-have-better-luck-than-he-did, way. 

This closed out the con and we filed out along with the hordes working our way back to the hotel, taking the train back home the next day. I have to admit there's something pleasant about being able to visit New York in the fall, and for one weekend, pretend I'm a famous author and have others pretend with me. It's enough to make me feel like I'm a character in a Nora Ephron movie.

Thanks for coming. We should hang out again sometime.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


A fan by the name of New Hitomi recently posted this on Flickr, then tweeted me and apparently held their breath to see my reaction. I loved it, but more importantly this finally settles the long debated topic of who should play Royce and Hadrian in the movie version.

By the way, that's exactly how I pictured that scene from The Crown Conspiracy, right down to the sign on Albert's back and the one shoe coming off.

Thanks so much for sharing this with me New. I can't wait for the next installment.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Cover Art by Todd Lockwood

One of the downsides to being an author is a lack of corporate aided health insurance. For those of us not making millions (you’d be surprised how many that is) medical problems can be devastating even if a full recovery is made.

Shawn Speakman is an author, webmaster, and recent cancer survivor, who after beating Hodgkin’s lymphoma, has more than $200,000 in medical bills. Shawn, however, also has friends. Famous friends. Terry Brooks for example who wrote a short story for him and suggested he ask a few of his other pals to pitch in some words and make an anthology.

So Shawn put out the word.

Did I mention Shawn has some interesting friends?

In 2013, Shawn will be publishing Unfettered, a fantasy anthology featuring stories by:

    Terry Brooks
    Patrick Rothfuss
    Naomi Novik
    Brandon Sanderson
    RA Salvatore
    Tad Williams
    Jacqueline Carey
    Daniel Abraham
    Peter V. Brett
    Robert VS Redick
    Peter Orullian
    Todd Lockwood
    Carrie Vaughn
    Blake Charlton
    Kevin Hearne
    Mark Lawrence
    David Anthony Durham
    Jennifer Bosworth
    Lev Grossman
    Michael J. Sullivan
    Eldon Thompson
    Shawn Speakman

The book is entitled Unfettered based on the idea that the authors were given no restrictions. We could do anything we liked. Sanderson is including a Wheel of Time piece and I’ve heard Rothfuss has submitted a poem. Lawrence is including a Jorg story, and I’m sending along an original Royce and Hadrian adventure entitled, The Jester.

The Jester takes place in the Riyria Chronicles era, around year four, and finds the two already in deep trouble after having taken another strange job. This time Riyria teams up with a pig farmer and the widowed wife of a candle baron who have an ancient treasure map, but not much sense.

While the book will not be out for a few months, it is up for pre-order. Unfettered will be published as a trade hardcover as well as a leather-bound, signed and numbered edition limited to 500 copies and autographed by all contributors.  Shawn also has his own book, The Dark Thorn available through Grim Oak Press, which he hopes will further help offset his medical expenses.

I hope you’ll help us help Shawn, and maybe in the process find a new favorite author or two.