July 27, 2017 by Laird
My first Necon has come and gone.
This convention has a loyal following. I understand, after experiencing the tradition firsthand, why people return year after year. Necon feels less like a convention and more like a retreat. The organizers and longtime attendees have established a culture that is both collegial and familial.
I won’t make an exhaustive list of the folks I met over the weekend–many of them for the first time–because I am fated to leave someone out. Suffice to say, I talked a lot of shop, signed numerous books, connected with old friends, and made a few new ones. So, I’ll stick to highlighting a handful of points:
Thank you to the Booth family, Matt Bechtel, and Jack Haringa for inviting me to the event. The entire staff made the stay pleasant–and special note to Martel Sardina who acted as my liaison during the weekend. Thanks also to John Langan for taking on the driving duties and getting us there and back again.
My fellow guests of honor, Kristina Carroll, Weston Ochse, and Gemma Files, were a joy to be around. Kristina is an exceptional artist (check out her gallery); Weston and Gemma are hardcore professionals and I’ll not soon forget our talk on the Guest of Honor Panel. Toastmaster Lynne Hansen conducted that particular interview–I appreciate her hard work and preparation that culminated in a striking and memorable 90 minutes of discussion.
Now I’m home and back to reality, toiling under deadline for the next book in my forthcoming crime series. It was tough to tear myself away from the book and take a long weekend. In recent times I’ve become increasingly reticent to attend writerly gatherings due to deadlines and general weariness. I’m glad I bucked the trend. Necon is one of the best things I’ve done to recharge my batteries in a long, long time.