Two things stuck out on the second day of the conference. First, I ran into a creative writer, Marcus Carbo, who writes sci-fi and likes Terry Pratchett. He’d been at my presentation on “Social Media and Online Marketing” and talking of Pratchett nearly sent me off on a tangent about the story of Paul. But then I didn’t go there, which was probably for the best.

So, when I asked if he liked Doctor Who, Marcus said, “Yes, but just the early ones.” And I was like, “Oh, I know! Thank you!”

We both commiserated about how The Doctor had become this romantic lead, when our memories of him were as a mentor of sorts. And I was like, “Tom Baker. He was my favorite.”

Not to mention the shock and pain of my first regeneration experience. Especially since Peter Davison seemed “too young and too cute to be The Doctor.” (My words.)

David Swinson gave an awesome interview at lunch. Who knew that he used to find venues for post-punk bands, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Violent Femmes? Or that he knew Timothy Leary and Hunter S. Thompson?

Dana King interviews David Swinson.

But it was at dinner that Jonathan Maberry nearly made me weep with the story of his remarkable childhood.

Yes, that’s Jonathan Maberry! 🙂

It was then that it hit me why I go to these conferences. In fact, a lot of things made sense at that point. Something of an idea coalesced inside me. I’m not ready to talk about it, but it’s a thing and I hope it can happen.

Was that two things? Here are some more. I appeared on a panel about “YA Literature in the 21st Century” and actually sold at least four books! Awesome! 🙂

In many respects, the last day of the conference was more amazing than I’d imagined it would be.

I got up early for a Sunday, fortified myself with cappuccino and waffles, and headed to the Sheraton for my interview. I felt oddly at ease. I suppose I’ve done enough of these to have a good sense of what goes over well.

Me (remarkably awake), talking with Austin Camacho.

Even so, I was amazed at how naturally the conversation flowed. I even made a few jokes—and people actually laughed! Always a plus.

Then I had another panel right afterward on crossing genres. And I got to share the stage with Jonathan Maberry—talk about a guy who’s crossed genres. He’s handled multiple genres, age groups, comic books, etc. As Yoda might say, “Multi-talented he is.” 🙂

And people bought my books and I signed some more. Before I left, the bookseller paid me my share. When I looked at the wad of cash and found a $20 bill, I thought I’d pass out.

When was the last time I’d sold books on consignment and made more than 20 bucks? I was hard-pressed to recall.

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