Wednesday the 19th
Up at 5am to begin my journey to the fiery lands of Spokane. There are no pictures of this, because cameras don't exist before at least 9am.
I assume the 737 I was loaded onto whisked me away to Portland, because when I regained consciousness I was most definitely in PDX. A mysterious airport that offers both local liquor tasting, boba shakes, and what I can only assume is a cult that worships a carpet pattern.
Full of sugar and alcohol, I stumbled my way to my gate to find a Bombardier waiting to take me up to Spokane. I like Bombardiers. Not only is the name fun to say, but they're solid little planes that usually promise a smooth ride. Alas, due to the gusting winds and wildfires devouring half the western seaboard, we had a bumpy ride into Spokane, but the Bombardier handled it like a champ.
By the time I made it to the hotel, I'd devoured enough caffeine to be aware of the world around me again. I knew that, as hostess for the Drinks With Authors party, the lovely people at Tor.com and Del Rey had sent books to my room to giveaway at the party. The arrangements were all very last-minute and there was a chance that the books might not make it in time. A little worried, I asked the concierge if any packages had happened to arrive for me?
Oh, had they ever.
Twelve full cases of books from Del Rey were waiting for me, along with a packet of coveted novella galleys from Tor.com's new imprint. I tipped the poor bellhop well for lugging all these beauties around for me.
After getting settled, the rest of the evening was spent handing out mini flyers for the Drinks With Authors party and, of course, carousing at BarCon.
Thursday the 20th
The morning (noon is morning at cons) kicked off with my first signing as a debut novelist. There was, however, a small problem: my novel doesn't hit the shelves until January 5th. I had to figure out something to sign that wasn't the body parts of unsuspecting con-goers, and so I printed up a booklet featuring the first three chapters of my novel, STEAL THE SKY. I think it turned out pretty spiffy.
My line was a wee little thing, but the 45 minutes flew by as I lured people to my table with promises of free cookies and free booklets. It was a much more relaxed experience than the whirlwind that was my Writers of the Future signing, and I really enjoyed actually getting to take a moment to talk with everyone who was kind enough to come say hello.
After the signing, I checked in with the awesome team manning the /r/fantasy table to make sure they were doing okay and that we were all on the same page for the insanity to come that was Drinks With Authors.
After that, we swung by the Angry Robot booth to pick up their donation to the Drinks With Authors raffle, and we were off to set up for the party.
Before I dive into the party pictures, a little bit about Drinks With Authors. This is a party that was thrown for the first time at LoneStarCon3 by Myke Cole, Justin Landon, and Steve Drew (/r/fantasy). It was an effort to give those authors who may not have been given sufficient (if any) programming at the con a chance to interact with fans face-to-face in a casual environment. The heart and soul of Drinks With Authors always has been, and always will be, building connections between creators and their fans. At LoneStarCon3, they had 2.5 weeks to plan the party.
I had five days.
Between /u/wishforagiraffe securing the location, the /r/fantasy crew hauling books, the signal boosting done by Sam Morgan at JABberwocky Literary, Michael R. Underwood at Angry Robot, Steve Drew of /r/fantasy, and Jason M. Hough, we managed to get over 300 people through the door, and give away over 200 books. I'll have a lot more to say about the importance of this party and what it could mean to the fan community later, but for now, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
There's a lot more pictures out there - these are just the tip of the iceberg. All in all, it was a fantastic event, and I can't wait to do it again for Kansas City. Oh, and on the way back to the hotel, I ran into these guys. Best cosplay ever!
Friday the 21st
The whole time the con was going on, the area immediately surrounding Spokane was (and still is) beset be wildfires. By Friday the air quality was starting to irritate my asthma something fierce. When I looked out my hotel window, the skyline was nothing but haze and the sun was a red, bloody eye. Not exactly the most cheerful of environments. Luckily for me, Friday was a much slower day compared to Thursday.
I did manage to sneak off to attend my one(!) panel of the con Friday evening, which was a live recording of the Writing Excuses podcast. After that, I had lunch with my agents Sam and Joshua and then an interview with the fantastic Patrick over at SFSignal.
Later that evening I got to attend my first Jabber Feast, a dinner party thrown by JABberwocky Literary for all their clients once a year. It was a little surreal (in an awesome way) to be sitting among some of my favorite authors as a colleague. And it was extra cool to realize that by the same time next year, all of the newbies at the table would have books on the shelves.
After dinner I rendezvoused with some of my old Writer of the Future year-mates, and spent the rest of the night at BarCon.
Saturday the 22nd
I started the day with strawberry crepes, which is always a good way to start any day. Then I interviewed with Gama Martinez over at The Arched Doorway, who asked me questions about kitties.
Then I hurried over to get set up for my AMA slot at the /r/fantasy table, which I did alongside Andrea G Stewart, Mur Lafferty, and Jay Swanson. You can read the whole AMA (ask me anything) over here: AMA with Megan E. O'Keefe.
After the AMA, I met briefly with a young woman who is a new writer and had some questions for me regarding the wildness that is Writers of the Future. Then I ran off to the Codex dinner being held at a local restaurant called Mizuna.
I have no pictures of the food at Mizuna, it was that good. If you're a vegetarian anywhere near Spokane - go here, treat yourself, and thank me later. The menu was so tempting that my table-mates and I decided to order one of each and swap entrees until we were all stuffed to the gills. We were so full that dessert was turned down. Well, okay, I got a key lime tart to go.
Then there was the Hugo Awards. I have been avoiding talking about the Hugos, because quite frankly the whole thing pisses me off and everything that I could possibly say has already been said a half dozen different ways. I have Hugo fatigue. In short:
YAY WES! *confetti!*
Connie Willis is my hero.
That is all.
Sunday the 23rd
The last day of the con proceeded at a much more sedate pace, and totally not because I was so sleep deprived I kept forgetting what I was supposed to be doing. Nope.
I spent a good chunk of the afternoon bending Michael's ear over at the Angry Robot table, then went to put in some volunteer time at the SFWA table. Mine was the last shift of the con, and as such was slow and gave me a chance to talk quite a bit with my table-mate, the fabulous Jonathan Brazee, who writes really incredible military/thriller science fiction. A big thanks is due to Terra LeMay, who kept both the SFWA table and suite running at full speed all con. She seriously deserves a standing ovation.
After putting in my table time, I helped break down the Angry Robot booth and then scooted off to dinner with friends. Seriously, the best part of cons is getting to have dinner/lunch/caffeine injections with friends. If I were to attempt to list every wonderful person I got the chance to meet, chat with, and/or catch-up with, my head might explode from too much awesome.
Eventually I found my way to that strange tradition known as the Dead Dog party, wherein Scott Lynch bought me a beer and I almost died of fangirl squee. I mean, uh, I totally kept my cool. Yep.
Monday the 24th
Once again up at an hour in which cameras do not exist, I said goodbye to the creepy lobby tiger in my hotel and set sail for home.
I never did find out if these guys would serve me four whole fried chickens and a coke.