Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Books Multiply Like Rabbits

Last weekend (10/19 - 10/21), I attended MileHiCon, in Denver, Colorado. I'd love to sum it up in a single word, but that would require me being some kind of word magician like Lewis Carroll and creating a nonsense word that meant what I wanted it to mean due to other words not quite cutting the mustard. (That's a long sentence!)

There's a lot to tell! I cannot communicate to you how excited I am, or how - a whole week - I am still riding the high of being surrounded by authors of all gradients and immense talent. They are also full of splendiferous ideas and gracious hearts and humility and wonderful things of every sort. I've no doubt they are "just human" as well, which makes all the rest that much more sparkling.

I'm going to take a risk here. Let me explain:

Typically, I like the approach of "if I'm going to list/link some, I should do my best to list/link all" - but let's be honest here. That would be a MAMMOTH undertaking. What I will do, instead, is try to mention all of the authors to whom I listened on panels when I talk about their specific panels. For today, I wanted to talk about the big pile of books I bought.

I had the opportunity to meet and talk with each of the Guests of Honor (I even got to hang out with a couple of them, and engage a couple in earnest, if brief discussions). I'll admit it, even talking about it here, I am squee'ing inside. It's difficult to pick a place to start, so I'll go with... books!

I bought MANY books this weekend. And some of them have stories behind them.

Cherie Priest
I finally got to meet Cherie! A long time ago (about 12 years now), I had a LiveJournal (I still have it, I just don't use it so much), and through that LJ I met many wonderful people. Among them are more than a couple of ladies who have since become published and successful authors. (I feel there IS a difference between published and successful, I can talk more about that later if someone is curious.) Cherie is one of those ladies, and I've been so happy seeing her get her due from the publishing and reading world. As a result of meeting her, of being so excited to realize that she is as much of a genuine person in "real life" as she seems through her site & blogging, I purchased almost all of her books that I could find in print. Yeah. Major hetero-girl-crushing.
Books I bought and why:
Boneshaker
Ganymede
Dreadnought
These are the books that broke Cherie into the limelight. I'm pretty sure it's about time that I gave them a read.

Fathom

Cherie's first Publisher's Weekly starred reviewed book. Seems like it didn't get its due, and I've been excited to read it for many years now.

Bloodshot
Hellbent

Well, what can I say. She calls them her "Trashy Vampire Novels" but that's not what drew my attention. During a panel, she talked about the old vampire folklore that discussed one of the ways to escape the undead abomination was to throw grain or rice or sand or pebbles on the ground in front of the monster. It would then be forced to stop and count the discarded objects. All of this links to the notion of OCD, and Cherie said that her protagonist was "a vampire with OCD" - I was hooked. I've read the first chapter of the first book and am enjoying it.

CJ Henderson

What can I say? I've never been happier to be surprised. I went to the convention MAINLY to get a chance to meet Cherie and to HOPEFULLY sit in on some great panels. I didn't intend to have as great of a time as I did. In the course of things, I went to a panel that consisted of all of the Guests of Honor. At that panel, I had the opportunity to 'meet' CJ Henderson for the first time. His charisma and his no-bullshit attitude won me over in a heartbeat.

I am a living example of his belief that an author earns their fans one at a time. I didn't even really know who he was (I figured out later that I had done a lot of reading about his character Lai Wan), but after that... I had to read something of his. I browsed a local bookstore in the dealer room and found:

What You Pay For

Now, here's where things get even more amazing. Daring to dare, I went to the Autograph Alley and approached Mr. Henderson to get him to sign the book. Meek creature that I can be, I explained (apologetically) that I had not really known who he was, but he made such an impression, I had to pick up something of his from the store. I pulled "What You Pay For" out of my bag. He laughed - a short and surprised and utterly delighted sound. Turns out, the main character in this collection of stories... one of his first, and one of his favorites. Immediately, he flipped into the book and started reading to me, in Jack Hagee's voice. It was amazing; a lil mini reading just for me.

I've read a few pages (this seems to be a trend), and love it. I've always liked detective fiction (not mystery/crime, which I feel are SLIGHTLY different), and I think Jack Hagee and I are going to get along quite well.

Molly Tanzer
A Pretty Mouth

I saw Molly on a panel back at Denver Comic Con and immediately loved her hair. At MileHiCon, I got to meet her and even hang out a little bit (under the influences of some alcoholic beverage(s)). So very glad I did! As a result, I picked up her newly released book as well. I even got her to sign it! ...because why not? I've read a couple pages and am looking forward devouring the rest.
Eventually, my hope is to read and write at least a little review on all of this - as well as delve more into each of these authors' bodies of work. You know, and perhaps one day sit on a panel with them.


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