After that, I went off-site to the Decatur Book Festival just outside of Atlanta. Decatur's a quaint little town, and the fest is a sprawling, outdoor fair-like event with lots of food and art vendors (in addition to the authors and panels). There, I had the infamous Vampire Werewolf Smackdown with Maggie Stiefvater. To be honest, I'm not sure how much smacking went on. Maggie and I are pals, and it was pretty amicable to the point of "Oh, yeah, I agree with you on that" and "I can concede that one." The audience proved more adamant than us on some points, and the participation was fantastic. We then signed books and met readers, and I was taken under the wing of the local Penguin Books rep, who made sure I got food and didn't get lost. The fest staff was really, really great and also helped me find my way around.
After that, it was back to downtown and DragonCon. My evening panel was on "demonology" and featured fun folks like Jackie Kessler, Mike Mignola, and Stacia Kane. I got to talk about Georgina, and afterward, a few people came up to get some books signed. Among them was Shae:
Look closely at what's in her hand.
A silver stake! She said she had a guardian outfit to go with it, but for the photo op, she mixed costumes for me. Pretty awesome. Speaking of fandom...Siobhan at Decatur brought me a picture she and her friend drew, but I haven't had a chance to photograph it yet. Thanks, guys!
Once panel duties were done for the night, I managed a con rarity: meeting up with almost all of my friends. I know over a dozen people here, but with so many schedules and locations, it's hard to see everyone at once. We did a good job this time, and fourteen of us went out to dinner. Here's me, Kat Richardson, Stacia Kane, and Caitlin Kittredge. Kat's hair looks very luxurious, methinks.
While at dinner, Caitlin and I realized we'd be in Boston on the same day, and she helpfully created this map of Massachusetts with silverware and her own two hands to illustrate the layout of her home state. I think it's pretty accurate, but then, geography's never been my strongest subject.
Also while at dinner, we had a most unexpected visit. "Ace and Gary" of the Ambiguously Gay Duo came wandering through the restaurant.
The AG Duo was a Saturday Night Live cartoon from several years ago, and these two guys were pretty funny (even though I don't recall Ace having a southern accent). They struck some poses for us and bantered before wandering off for other pictures.
Caitlin had acquired a CW bag earlier and proudly modeled her sultry self with it, producing what was almost the sexiest picture of the day.
Well, that was until the AG Duo came wandering back and asked me to take a picture with them.
I know, I know. Sexy probably isn't the right word. But what could I do? Here's the story. After their first visit to our table, they returned later to ask what my name was because they were "pretty sure" I was the favorite author of someone they knew. When they found out that I actually was that author, they asked me to pose with them. This shot is really pretty tame compared to what they made author Kelly Meding do. Later, I found out that the fan of mine they knew was actually Ace's 14-year-old daughter. So, I'm not sure if the coolness of them getting a pic with me will compensate for her dad wearing spandex, but only time will tell. Also, Ace and Gary said I was a hottie, which may or may not clear up the "ambiguous" part. I guess it depends on how you want to read it.
Tomorrow, I have one more panel at DragonCon before my duties are done. Of course, my con experience won't be truly wrapped up until I make another attempt to find Joe Flanigan (whom, according to a text from Caitlin, was spotted signing photos today--while I was away at Decatur). After that quest, I'll be flying off to Washington, DC, where I'll get Labor Day off and then have signings in Fairfax, VA and Baltimore, MD. Check the link for dates, times, and stores!