As DragonCon winds down and I hear both good and bad things about the convention (mostly good), I am working hard not to be utterly useless the week before I go to Gen Con. It’s a hard battle, but I have so much to do. I am a conflicted person. I am excited. I am wary. I am hopeful. I am paranoid.
Why am I going? I’ve been asked this a couple of times. The main reason is to set myself up for success in 2022. It’s been two years since I’ve been to an in-person convention. I’m so out of practice preparing for it physically and mentally. Don’t get me started on the idea of pitching my novels. My steel trap is rusted shut and I don’t remember how to people. Plus I’m going to have the added complication of a mask.
But then there’s the small fact that I had multiple books come out in 2020 and 2021. Two BattleTech books in my Rogue Academy series. Multiple anthologies plus A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods was nominated for two major awards in 2020. I have a small, but dedicated group of fans who want to say hello and get their books signed. I want to sign books for people.
Mostly, I’m going to Gen Con because Author’s Avenue has a new manager and I want to make a good impression on them. Plus, those who are in Author’s Avenue get grandfathered into the next Gen Con. I don’t want to have to apply/compete for a spot in 2022. (Yes, I would like the world to be less virus-ridden by then. I have hope.)
I know there is a chance me or the Husband will catch Covid. But I also know we will do absolutely everything we can to remain as safe as possible while traveling and while there at the convention. The Husband is also of two minds about things, and he will be safe about stuff, but he’s the less high-strung one of us. Me? I’ve got masks, hand sanitizer, healthy paranoia, and a decent Gen Con Covid policy to fall back on. The Husband and I will not be eating in any restaurants. All meals will be take out or store bought. All socializing will be masked and as socially distanced as possible.
My plan for the convention is to work the dealers room during the day (doing all my social stuff there) then go back to the hotel room at night. To be fair, I also have a Shadowrun novel due soonish and I’m on “deadline mode”, so I would be doing a lot of that whether or not there was a dangerous virus running around. Right now, I only have one meeting scheduled and, to be perfectly honest, it could be done over Zoom, but I’d really like to have a masked face-to-face meeting with this person for the discussion. It’s just better for creative types in order to feed off each other’s excitement.
That’s the thing I miss most: that excitement and renewed love of the business. To spend time talking with other like-minded people who really get it. To be inspired. To feel refreshed mentally. (Physically is always another story when it comes to conventions.)
So, yes, I will be at Gen Con in Author’s Avenue, Booth A, on the corner, across from the entertainers (Downloadable PDF). I will have Shadowrun, new BattleTech, Karen Wilson, Melissa Allen, several new anthologies, and some very special enameled cat pins. If you are going to be there, please come by and say hello and get a book signed or pick up a pin. I don’t know if I will be signing at the Cat Labs booth or not. I’ll be somewhat active on Twitter as my schedule updates itself. Follow me there @JenniferBrozek.