This is the first chance I've had where I actually had time to sit down and write about what's been going on with GenCon. What makes this unfortunate is that it means I'll abridge and inevitably miss some really cool stuff that happened, but this is the way of things. Since I was only semi-coherent on Wednesday anyway, there are probably things I'd miss regardless.
Wednesday: Left at 3:45 a.m. for the airport. Slept a little on the plane to Detroit, but couldn't sleep from Detroit to Indianapolis. I planned out my Eberron: Xen'drik Expeditions character, instead (which I still haven't had a chance to play).
The convention registration opened at 5 p.m., so most of the early day was spent by exhibitors putting together their booths. The folks from White Silver picked me up at the airport, dropped me off at the hotel (where I couldn't check in yet), and then took me over to the convention center. Nominally, I was to help set up the booth, but as the guys from White Silver told me, they're from the South, which means I wasn't allowed to lift very much. (Someone is always offering to take heavy things from me, which shames my internal bookseller, but makes my arms quite happy.) I unraveled some wires that had tangled up in transit, which was quite productive, then let them handle most of the rest while I went to training for True Dungeon.
If you've never been through the True Dungeon before, it is a must see event. As it runs over $20 for an 1 1/2 event, it's a little outside the price range of some gamers. This didn't stop the event from filling up entirely in the first two hours that the event tickets went on sale at the convention. I imagine that traversing the dungeon (which is similar to a haunted house, except with puzzles, riddles, and mock combat) is well worth the price. The other great way to experience True Dungeon is as a volunteer, and they need plenty of them to keep the place running. I picked up my make up and wig and chatted with folks to find out how it worked (and got a new copy of my script, which I'd left somewhere in Connecticut), then headed back down to the exhibit hall.
Because of the loading and unloading through the docks outside the hall, the convention staff said the air wouldn't be turned on until Thursday morning, making it quite a warm place to set up. Despite the heat, banners rose into the air on fork lifts, buildings were built (the Wizards of the Coast booth has an entire small library with furniture to create a cozy environment for author signings), and books made their way onto display. I wandered over to the Kenzer and Company booth and helped them with the set-up, doing my best to use my Barnes and Noble bookseller training to create an attractive display. (Pyramid displays really *do* look better than other arrangements!)
By the time I returned to the White Silver booth, huge banners were rising from the booth, displaying prominently the cover image from Into the Reach
and the cover image for the Chronicles of Ramlar Core Rulebook.
There wasn't a whole lot for me to help with other than shifting boxes and starting to arrange displays, which didn't entirely work as it's hard to maneuver around a booth with seven people trying to help. Mostly, I stood with editor Tony Lee and we pretended to supervise.
I headed back up for the rest of my True Dungeon training and realized I hadn't had nearly enough to eat, so I headed down to the Champions Bar at the Mariott (where the True Dungeon was being held) and ran into Jolly Blackburn, creator and writer for Knights of the Dinner Table.
We chatted while I waited for my food, then I headed back up to True Dungeon to watch the walk through for the VIP attendees, in order to get an idea of how the show worked.
Sadly, this was not to be, as my body decided to shut down around 7 p.m. I said farewell to the True Dungeon staff, headed over to the convention center to tell the White Silver folks I was headed home (and said a very sleepy hello to Lindsay Archer,
the artist who did the cover and interiors for Into the Reach.
Then I headed back to the hotel, where I slept for about an hour at a shot; tired as I was, I had a severe case of nerves. I don't know if it's easier to just know your book's release date and mark it silently or if it's easier to be right there in the thick of the action and knowing exactly how well your book is selling in those first few days. I imagine the first might be just as nerve wracking as the second, and the second is pretty darn nerve wracking!
More when I have another chance to write. I'm back over to the convention center to start another day of carnival barking and book selling.