Now, I've spoken before on con salesmanship. Two years ago at Comic-Con we aggressively handed out flyers. People would walk past our table double-speed, trying not to make eye contact with any of us because they knew we'd make them take one if they slowed down at all. That was unpleasant after about the fourth day.
We took it easy here. It was a lot more pleasant. Peter brought a bowl with little chocolates. That was our "hard sell". If anyone came by and looked interested, we'd offer them one. It worked fairly well. It broke the ice and gave people a chance to start talking to us about our work if they wanted to.
Peter would ask "Do you like comics?" while gesturing to our books.If they said no, I'd ask "Well, do you like science fiction?" while gesturing to his. Some people said "no" to that also; I wondered what they were doing there.
After a while, word was getting around. Someone came up and asked "Is this the table with the free chocolate?".
A few fans came by (Hi, Geoff). A few more sent their friends to pick them up something (Hi, Brendan). A few random walkups. We signed some of the Kevin & Kell books dedicated to us when Bill sent people our way. It was fun.
Peter introduced us to David Kyle. David Kyle was organizing science fiction cons back when they called it "scientifiction". He published the first hardcover books by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Howard. He wrote three Lensman books. He's easy to spot at a science-fiction convention because he wears a red jacket and is in his late 80s.
He's cool. Not "cool for such an old guy". He's cool. He asked how long we were married. Three years, we said.
"How many months? How many days?"
"Today's the twenty-fifth?"
"Three years, three months, and three days".
"You're putting me on".
There was an awards banquet Saturday night. We didn't get tickets. We weren't aware of it until Peter asked us how many tickets we had. So us, Bill Holbrook, Dressari, and the Prellwitz family headed off to dinner at a local Chinese buffet. I felt bad about taking them away from the banquet for a while until I realized that Peter's children didn't have tickets either and he couldn't've just left them there.
I learned something important about Kevin & Kell from Bill. Kell Dewclaw? In her last name, the stress is on the second syllable as if it were DuClaw. I had always pronounced it with the stress on the first syllable, like "dewdrop".
Bill asked what Lemon Technology actually does. They resell fragrances, generally for industrial use. I wanted it to be a company that did something that would never affect most people. Something that was unglamorous and had a fairly limited market. A company that didn't sell direct to the public. But when your company orders a gallon of pine-scented disinfectant to mop the floors with, the pine scent has to come from somewhere.
Since this was the largest number of You Say it First readers I had assembled to date, I asked if they thought they could tell when Isabel wrote the comic and when I wrote it. I had always wondered about that, how similar our writing styles really are. I think they're fairly different, but since we edit each others' work it probably gets blurry. They said they never thought about it, which means there probably aren't any great differences. One day I may publish a scorecard. The Lounge Guys give you +5 to "Written by Terrence". Or maybe not. I'm never sure about how much of the process to reveal.
I was walking through the hotel lobby. A man was looking for his wife. She came into the room and said, "Georgie! There you are!". As I walked away, there was an Asian man in a Planet Hollywood jacket around the corner. He said "I thought I heard somebody calling me".
I said "No, I think it was a different George".
I realized, then, that he was George Takei. We were heading the same direction - I was staying a few doors down from him, I later found out. That meant that I had a whole minute to try to think of something better to say than "George Takei! You are so cool!". Because, well, he's just come back from several hours of that. I couldn't so we walked quietly back to our rooms.
The End. Hope you had as much fun reading it as I did living it.