Last weekend we hopped over to Atlanta, GA for the inaugural SphinxCon, a con run by The Royal Manticoran Navy, the Official Honor Harrington Fan Association. Given that said universe was created by Jacob’s esteemed co-author, David Weber, it was a perfect whirlwind of a weekend to spread the word about their upcoming collaboration, The Gordian Protocol (*more on that in a month or so, which is when we’ll officially be able to spill the beans. SO MANY BEANS).
We approached SphinxCon differently from cons we’ve attended in the past. Previously, we were tiny indie minnows in a huge author pond, swimming through Dealer’s Rooms and Artist’s Alleys just to get the word out about our books. Now that we’re slightly less tiny minnows (albeit swimming beside a whale of the sci-fi world), we moved into panels – and in doing so, met a slew of awesome new fans and fellow authors.
Being that The Gordian Protocol is a time travel adventure, Jacob naturally moderated a panel on Crafting Time Travel Rulesets, along with fellow writer William Alan Webb.
That conversation continued even outside the panel, though. The engineer and physics nerd in Jacob had a riotous time crafting the rules for the world of The Gordian Protocol, going as far as to create a mathematical formula to predict the likelihood of certain time travel-induced changes in the world. (There are spreadsheets. LOTS of spreadsheets.)
H.P. moderated several panels, too, including Self-Publishing for Shy People with Jonathan Brazee and Michael J. Allen and Writing by the Seat of Your Pants with both them and Christopher Woods. Jacob joined her for Chaos of Creation: Balancing World Building With Story and then Jonathan Brazee and David Weber, of course, joined us for Collaborating with an Author.
Some of the wildest panels, though, were those where we joined crowds of other authors for round table discussions of such topics as World Building (about…world building) and Science Fiction vs. Fantasy: Why not both? (about combining science fiction and fantasy in a single world). It was crazy to be able to sit on panels with such names as Chris Kennedy, Mark Wandrey, and David Gerrold (WRITER OF “THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES,” YOU GUYS), in addition to those we’d already joined.
Of course, we can’t go without mentioning The Care and Feeding of Authors, wherein author spouses (H.P. here) chatted about what it takes to keep an author sane and fed, but mostly drank INCREDIBLE margaritas.
The panels were fun, but perhaps the best part of the convention was actually getting to hang out with fans. That’s something that doesn’t necessarily happen at larger cons or in hurried Dealer’s Rooms, but small cons like these provide the perfect opportunity to just chill in a hallway and discuss books and cats and food with people who, previously, we’d only communicated with on our Facebook fan page, if at all!
Best of all, we’re now even more pumped to continue our current writing projects – The Wizard’s Circus for H.P. and the SEQUEL to The Gordian Protocol for Jacob – until we come up for air again at the next con! 😀