Monday, February 18, 2008

Report on LTUE

First of all, I'm very sorry that I'm an idiot and didn't take a camera. This post could be so much interestinger if I'd had a camera. If anyone was there and would like to share a picture with us, let me know.

It was a great couple of days, and as usual, I learned more than I preached. Here are some of the highlights, the Top Ten I guess:

1. On Friday I had lunch with Brandon Sanderson (Elantris, Mistborn, Alcatraz, Wheel of Time) and Dan Willis (Dragonlance). Brandon brought his contracts and I brought mine, and we compared and Brandon taught me many wise things. He's a stud. Dan knows a lot about the business, too. We basically spent 2 hours kickin' it as the young whippersnappers say. (I give it one hour before someone informs me that kids do not in fact say that.)

2. I served on panels with fun people talking about everything from writing for young readers to what it's like to have been published by an independent press. Although I try to answer questions as best I can, I also spend much of the time trying to think of funny things to say and ways to embarrass my co-panelists. Especially Jessica Day George.

3. It was really packed, as many people as I've ever seen at the event. Maybe that had something to do with Orson Scott Card and Gail Carson Levine being there. Ya think?

4. I did a book signing with Levine and Sanderson and Rick Walton. Levine had a very, very long line. So, of course, I got off my hiney and walked down her line, handing everyone a 13th Reality bookmark. Aspiring writers, take note. Always look for opportunities to self promote! And act confident, as if you're doing THEM a favor. :-)

5. MOST SURREAL MOMENT: I didn't get to spend as much time with Orson Scott Card as I would've liked. He was always surrounded by tons of fans. But I did spend a few minutes with him, and I gave him a signed copy of 13th Reality. Imagine what that felt like. Ender's Game is one of my all-time favorite books, and I've been reading Card for 20 years. It was way cool to hand him my own book, with a note thanking him for his influence. I hope he reads it! I think.

6. I had lunch on Saturday with some of the usual crowd plus Bruce Simpson. This guy is just very, very cool, and he's a teacher who loves his students. He's also an aspiring writer, and he picked my brain for awhile. Good luck, Bruce, and I hope everyone out there learns something from him. Find authors, eat with them.

7. I also want to mention Judi Collings. She's just this wonderful, wonderful woman who has supported me from the very beginning. Her husband is the poet and author, Michael Collings. I gave Judi a book, and she gave me a really cool piece of stone jewelry for my wife. I think I came out ahead. Also, a big thanks to the wonderful Charlie and Steve, who ran the show. They've also supported me since my first book with the sad little cover came out. These people are incredible, and Charlie, I owe you a book. Sorry, forgot!

8. I ate at this awesome new sushi place with Howard and Sandra Tayler, J. Scott Savage, Bob Defendi, Dan Willis, Brook West, and Julia Forgot-Her-Last-Name. (Sorry!) It's called Sushi Ya and is my new favorite restaurant.

9. I had the chance to meet many fans and true writers. I won't dare mention names for the fear of leaving someone out, but please know that my favorite part was talking to people like you in between the panels. That's what it's all about.

10. Last but not least, the whole shabang ended with dinner out with some good friends. There was a banquet, but we weren't able to go to that, so we hit a restaurant. It was me, J. Scott Savage, his wife Jen, Julie Wright, Karen Hoover, Melinda Morley, and Suzy Gehring. Much was discussed, much was eaten, and many people were made fun of. In a good way, of course.

Well, I'm sure I've left something or someone out and terribly offended people. But it was a great couple of days and I had fun giving away a lot of free 13th Reality stuff.

Two weeks from today, the book comes out. Two weeks from today! Wow. I'm kinda excited.

Coming soon: announcement of the 13th Reality charity drive.


LaFemmeSimple said...

Welcome back dude!

I want to get sushi while you're here. Mmmmmmmm...sushi.....

Sounds like a great conference!

Anonymous said...

Kids haven't kicked it since the 90's. Now they just 'hang out with their buddies' (unless it's already changed since I left high school...)

Wish I had been to your panel! You should come to the Texas Book Festival sometime.

Melinda said...

Phew! You can be relieved now that I'm not offended because you remembered to mention me in your blog. Then again, how could you forget me? I am your (most)faithful blog reader/lurker!

Dinner was great. Thanks again, I really owe you one!

P.S. My kids appreciated the posters and bookmarks (they liked the posters better though) and my daughter who saw your presentation at her school was thrilled that I had dinner with you because, as she puts it, "You are, like, the most famous author ever." Also, she said, "Lu-ckee!"

I did agree. Mostly because I got to meet Julie, she is sooo cool.:)

Also-I commented!

Also-Next time, sushi!

Dedee said...

So I think you are my husband's current favorite person. I'd like to say excluding me, but you never know. . .

Just kidding.

Thanks for talking to him. He had a great time. It was good to meet you myself. Sorry I didn't get to chat more but that darned Gail Carson Levine line for my daughter. . .

James Dashner said...

Sarah, sushi it is in the ATL.

Kaleb, wait a minute. WE said hang out. Maybe the world doesn't change as much as I thought.

Melinda! You commented! See, that wasn't so hard, now was it? Dinner was awesome and next time we'll definitely find sushi.

And tell your daughter she's James Dashner's current Favorite Person of the Year for saying that.

Dedee, I really enjoyed talking to your husband. His genuine enthusiasm really made my day. Tell him hi, and next time, ditch the Levine chick and hang with us.

Luisa Perkins said...

How. Fun. Totally. Envious.

And now I wish we were having sushi for dinner....

Michelle said...

I wanted to go I really wanted my ARC signed. Bummer.... i had to roll my truck instead.....

Hey i saw your book at



Anonymous said...

Don’t suppose you’d be willing to clue us in on some of the “wise” contract-related insights from your conversation with Brandon Sanderson?


Tamra Norton said...

Sounds like some good times! And take Kaleb's advice and come to the Texas Book Festival. I think it's Sept or Oct in Austin and it's huge--draws some big really names (and you can look up Louis Sachar who lives in the neighborhood). It was created by Laura Bush back in their Texas days.

Tamra Norton said...

*really big names*

I should know better than to toss a "really" in there!

Ron Simpson said...

cool. sounds like fun. wish i could have been there.

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