|The Pyr booth, before opening.|
|The Electric Boogaloo.|
|Middle Earth Mardi Gras|
|Yep yep yep...uh huh uh huh!|
|You will buy my book|
|Monday Morning - not even over!|
One of the most amazing things to me personally was how effective the Pyr Sampler Book was. Most of them disappeared on Friday, and Saturday morning, literally scores of people came up to us (that day and all the other days too actually) saying they'd read the Sampler Book and they wanted to pick up this book or that book. I was astounded. We assumed people would take these things home to peruse them at their leisure. But they read them Friday night? "Weren't you out there drinking with the 65,000 other people?" I asked one young guy, who didn't seem like the type to pass on this Toklienesque Fort Lauderdale. "Yeah, man," he replied. "I drank till 3:30am, then came back drunk and read your book until 5am. Can I get Tome of the Undergates?
|Dinner with the Winner!|
|The Amazing Clay and Susan Griffith.|
|"I know this music."|
|Sprunk, Anders, Sykes.|
|James Enge wants you.|
Sunday night was another dinner at Max Lager's, where I got to sit down and spend real time with James Enge, and then it was off to the Marriott first and then the Hyatt for more beer. I ended the evening sitting between Mike Resnick on my right and Todd Lockwood on my left. Mike was giving agent advice to my friend David Alastair Hayden and Todd was giving artistic advice to Randall Ian Mackey, my friend and cousin's husband, who is looking to launch a career in concept illustration. It was really gratifying to just sit there and watch my friends help my friends.
|Cooper, a trooper.|
|Bats and Cats|
And that really characterized the convention for me. With a "Little Help From My Friends" could have been the theme song. I had never met Sprunk, Sykes, the Griffiths, Marmell, or Enge before and now they are all fast friends. Clay remarked one evening when I thanked him for all the help in the booth "We felt like we were part of the Marvel Bullpen during the high Silver Age!" We learned a lot, and we could run an even better booth next year based on these learnings, but what I really learned was that we have the greatest authors and friends in the whole wide world. And that, as long as they are there with you, the Mardis Gras of Middle Earth is a great place to be.