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February 2016



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Alexia Tea

In Which Gail Distills 10 Comic Con Commandments

During some of my Comic Con research, Gentle Reader, I discovered Comic Con specific tips. (And yeah, I'm from Nor Cal, here we just call SDCC: Comic Con. All the other comic cons require articulating place names. It's kind of like growing up in the Bay Area where San Francisco is "The City.")

I've been learning lots of stuff ~ some of it for attendees, some for pros. I've distilled out ten rules for myself, in particular. I shall apply them and get back to you, Gentle Reader, on whether they work or not when I'm down there. Of course these are combined with my already stated 10 Commandments of Convention Attendance.

Whatever your "Comic Con" I believe these might be at least helpful jumping off points.

Gail's Favorite 10 Comic Con Commandments

1. Thou shalt apply the buddy system and schedule places and times to meet.
2. Thou shalt make friends in line and speak loudly when leaving the buddy (to save your space) so those around know you will return. (But do not do so with only 15 minutes left.)
3. Thou shalt not walk the entire exhibition hall in one day. (For low it is four miles or more to do all the isles, sayith Tom Galloway.)
4. Remember the bathroom locations, keep them holy.
5. Honor thy fellow author's survival tips. (And others.)
6. Thou shalt wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes.
7. Thou shalt not commit to cab or pedi-cab without address. (And in the case of a pedi-cab, price up front.)
8. Thou shalt leave thirty minutes to an hour to get anywhere.
9. Thou shalt not ask unto thee inane questions of security guards (stormtroopers are more helpful).
10. Thou shalt not covet an over-abundance of swag. (Or, thou shalt plan ahead with a prepayed shipping boxes.)


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Walking Dead

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Understanding Archetypes: I and Understanding Archetypes: II

Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Working rough draft. Release date Fall 2013.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013. Working promo schemes.Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Third draft handed in to editor, awaiting edits.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Reviewing chapter by chapter, each drops on YenPlus by subscription. Print release tentatively Dec. 2012.

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, Vol. available in print, Vol. 2 by subscription to YenPlus.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Not yet Released

Book News:
Eventually you'll be able to buy some of my foreign editions from Pat Rothfass's site, proceeds to charity. I'll let you know with a link when they are available.

Quote of the Day:
"6 calico combinations
6 silk or wool combinations
6 calico or clackingette(?) slip bodices
6 trimmed muslin bodices
12 pairs tan stockings
12 pairs Lisle thread stockings (cheaper than silk but still light)
6 strong white petticoats
6 trimmed petticoats
2 warm petticoats
4 flannel petticoats
36 pocket handkerchiefs
4 pairs of stays (corsets)
4 fine calico trimmed combinations for evening"
~ Flora Anne Steel on packing undergarments for travel to India 1888
(not unlike my Comic Con packing)

Daisypath Wedding tickers


Those "Walking Dead" look like someone broke the loo lock...

Hope you have fun at the con, and remember, 5+ stormtroopers in a prepaid shipping box count as boyband transport. Ukuleles cost extra.

Excellent advice

I could have used these commandments when I went to Book Expo America last month!
For me, the challenge is to maintain a balance between being approachable (as a pro author) and preventing myself from being inundated by the vastness of the event. Each fan deserves a moment of genuine attention, and that's still possible - I suppose that if I'm ever a Huge Famous Name, I'll have to reconsider, but as it is, I'm usually able to have those moments, even if they are just snippets of conversations.

Part of the trade-off is to accept that I will not get to see and do everything the con offers. I consult my inner child, we negotiate with my professional persona, and make priority lists. I intersperse being-with-hordes-time with little islands of quiet. It's harder if I'm commuting from home because I don't have a hotel room to run away to, but there are always corners here and there, and the need for a quiet cup of tea, perhaps with a fellow author or a new fan or two.
I am hoping to strike just such a balance. I've even planned a whole day where I Actually don't go to the Convention, I just have meeting off site, mostly to have a breather. I haven't even looked at the schedule yet to see if there is anything I want to see myself. I'm a little nervous about finding time but I am goign to see friends and parties and such so I should do OK. I hope.
An offsite meeting (or sightseeing -- or anything that gets you out of the hotel/convention center) can be a lifesaver. Especially if you can get in a few minutes of sunshine and fresh air!
Your tisane today nearly made me wet my pants from laughing.

Thank you so much, Gail. :)