As always, Kara and I had a wonderful time at the Shore Leave convention this past weekend. The best part of the weekend was time spent with good friends who (regrettably) live too far away to see on a regular basis.
We drove down to Baltimore from New York City on Friday with our friend (and my editor at Tor Books) Marco Palmieri. We had good luck avoiding major traffic snarls and our journey was swift and pleasant (not least because Marco is such excellent company on road trips).
Once at the recently remodeled (and now quite lovely) Hunt Valley Inn, we settled in, picked up our credentials, and wandered about. We checked out the dealer’s room, where Kara found Harry the Hare, a delightful new friend for my pal Mister Bunny:
After my very well-attended first panel on Friday — alongside Christopher L. Bennett, Amy Griswold, Mary Louise Davie, and Chuck Gannon — Kara, Christopher, and I escaped the hotel for dinner at The Greene Turtle with Dayton Ward, Kirsten Beyer, Kevin Dilmore, Bill Leisner, Scott Pearson, Marco Palmieri, and Dave Galanter and his wife Simantha.
After helping Marco promote my upcoming novel 24: Rogue at the “Coming from Tor Books” panel, I raffled off three ARCs (advance reader copies) of the book at the end of Meet the Pros, as well as a couple of the book’s gorgeous cover flats.
On Saturday I made it to my 10am panel (a cruel joke of scheduling the con foists upon me every year), and even stayed awake through my 11am panel. I got to pontificate and bloviate alongside fellow pros Martin Berman-Gorvine, Melissa Scott, Amy Griswold, Richard White, David Harten Watson, Russ Colchamiro, Joshua Palmatier, Jim Johnson, John Jackson Miller, Susanna Reilly, and Mary Fan.
After a much-needed afternoon nap, I took part in the “What’s Coming from Star Trek Books” panel, along with fellow Trek scribes Christopher L. Bennett, John Jackson Miller, Peter David, Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, and the amazing Kirsten Beyer.
The Saturday night tradition of authors descending en masse upon a great local barbecue joint continued, and this time we were honored to be accompanied by John Jackson Miller and his wonderful family. After dinner, Kara and I retired for a while to our room, where we opened a few bottles of wines we had made with friends over the past few years. We shared them with Simantha Galanter, Jenifer Rosenberg, Scott Pearson (who had been away from Shore Leave for far too long), Marco Palmieri, and Marco’s guest (and now our delightful new acquaintance) Sunny Moraine.
Sunday was a whirlwind of packing the car, attending my last panel (a discussion of etiquette and netiquette in publishing, with Marco Palmieri, Mary Fan, and effervescent YA mystery author T. J. Perkins), and saying rushed farewells.
As is ever the case, it seemed there was never enough time to hang out with everyone we’d hoped to see. We had only brief moments with many good friends, including Robert Greenberger and his lovely wife Deborah, and their daughter Kate Pakaski and her husband, Michael; Michael Jan Friedman and Howie Weinstein; the always erudite Allyn Gibson; fellow bunny-phile Phil Giunta; and last (but definitely not least) my best buddy Glenn Hauman (despite his being literally in the room next to ours).
The drive home was long because of the usual summer-weekend traffic in New Jersey, but the time passed quickly thanks to Marco’s fine company and some hijinks that might soon be revealed (pending some post-production to clean up the audio).
All in all, a fine weekend of good friends and interesting discussions. I’m already counting the day’s until Shore Leave 38.