St. Louis. The heart of America. My kind of people.
PennedCon was organized like an invasion, if that invasion featured lots of book swag and hilarity. In downtown St. Louis, there were lovely, iconic vistas.
The city was great, the hotel, nice and roomy. The event? Packed. We’re only missing a few things. That would be writers and readers. Fortunately, there were plenty of both. Several writers (who are new friends FOR LIFE) treated me to their real personalities. You know, the side of someone that allows them to cheerfully write a scene in which someone gets sort of, uh, murdered. And eaten. Or something.
Case in point: M. Stratton. By all reports, a delightful mother of sixteen children in Central Arizona, she lives on a compound that was manufactured by the Anasazi people during their last big push to topple the Aztecs. I’m told her home was intended to be one of the first time shares, but the arrival of the Spaniards sort of killed that off. Here she is posing with me. Isn’t she nice?
But then the gloves came off. She unleashed her– well, all of her. As well as unleashing author Evelyne Stone, who has lovely bone structure and a penchant for murder. And funny faces. And other crimes. Under the phrasing, “Fork you!”, allow me to introduce the other side of these, ahh, fine women.
So, that’s sort of what we’re dealing with. And I found it wonderful.
Two authors who have been personally kind to me were there, and I’d like to thank them- Aleatha Rommig and Denise Grover Swank. They’ve both dispensed excellent advice to me over the past two years. So, thanks.
The fans were amazing. There’s something special about being among book people. They think like I do about just how much books mean to them. It’s a club born of a passion that is wholly internal, and it permeated the room during our signing. Here’s Kris Pittman, who worked hard to take care of the authors all weekend. She was one of many people (her partner in crime Mary Beth another ) who made the days fly by in a blur of books and fun. Take note of how slender I look in my tasteful aqua shirt. Don’t act like it doesn’t impress you that I can own that color.
I gave away some jewelry. A fan named Joy won. She was great. We took three pictures, two of which involved her having both eyes open. Due to current existing law, I won’t post the one that is less flattering, but here is a nice shot of her with her loot:
Feel the excitement. Indeed.
I had the pleasure of meeting and defeating author T.K. Carter in single, unlimited combat. Our dispute arose over a minor fact about the Thirty Year War– I disagree with her assessment of the Holy Roman Empire– and the only logical thing to do was duke it out in the ballroom, chairs moved aside. There were no rules.
And no mercy.
Here we are during happier times:
Sadly, TK suffered a pulled muscle in her Froslingothpercus (It’s Latin, trust me) and will be unable to refute my claim of victory for some time. Godspeed, warrior. You acquitted yourself well, but my Five Finger Death Punch was simply too lethal.
So, I gained a ton of new friends, new readers, and had the best possible time I could while still wearing pants.
To my table partner MC Cerny: Thank you for tolerating me. That is all. Because classy.
More to come soon! Thanks, PennedCon. I’ll be back.