Overall, I had a really good time at Convolution as one of their first Featured Guests. I was on lots of panels and I had a table in the Dealers Room at the Apocalypse Ink Productions table. There were some snafus but most of them were handled very well. All of the staff members I talked to were professional and pleasant.
I got to hang out with Lee Moyer, Howard Taylor, Steve Jackson, and Steven Burst along with a whole passel of my Bay Area friends: Ami, Bill, Jade, Erica, David, Kimmie, Jim, Christine and also got to see more friends in passing like Matt and Devon. Really, it’s all these people that I came to the convention to see. They made it all so worth it.
However, not all was right in Mudville. The restaurant, Knuckles, treated me and my friends bad enough that I mentioned it on check out and once again in the survey. Everyone is aware that we did not have a good time. I got a personal email back apologizing from the “Director of Outlets” at the Hyatt.
Also, Friday night, I had the unfortunate experience of an acquaintance insulting me to my face while introducing me to someone.
“This is Jennifer Brozek. She’s an editor who manages to get words out of authors for incredibly cheap rates.”
I was so stunned that I was sure I misheard and asked him to repeat himself. Nope. He didn’t. My only response was, “That was mean.”
“Oh, I know you can’t help the fact that publishers don’t pay. But what’s even more amazing is the quality of work you get out of your authors.”
I’m pretty sure he was attempting to compliment me but it felt like another backhanded slap. I mean, what do you say to something like that while you are in a crowded party and acting as one of the featured guests? There’s not much you can do but smile, take it, and go back to your previous conversation. Though, I’ll admit it put quite the damper on my evening and I left soon after that.
On the good side, I did have a panel on “Publicity for Writers” with Jaym Gates and that was a blast. She and I have known each other casually for a long time. This was the first time we’ve spent more than 15 minutes together in the same room. That panel just clicked for us. We were able to meet up again later and it looks like we may be working on stuff together.
Convolution is the kind of convention that will get better as they gain their feet. Because of this, Jeff and I will be returning to the convention as panelist and dealer. We both think it is worth it.