Maya on the BeachDarkCon, Pi-Con, LunaCon, Confusion, VeriCon, KeyCon, In-CON-Ceivable…. what do these things have in common?

Okay, duh, yes. But in addition to the obvious, these are a handful of regional science fiction & fantasy conventions where I’ve had the privilege of being a Guest of Honor. I’ve written a variation of this post before, prompted by the fact that any announcement of an upcoming convention appearance is inevitably followed by “Do you ever come to ___________?”

Before I revisit my “frugal vampire” principle of con appearances, I decided to do an actual round-up of all the places in which I’ve attended cons, in some cases multiple times:

San Diego, California. Madison, Wisconsin. Epinal, France. College Station, Texas. Phoenix, Arizona. Opatija, Croatia. New York, New York. Boston, Massachusetts. Chicago, Illinois. Winnipeg, Ontario. Atlanta, Georgia. Rye Brook, New York. Halifax, Nova Scotia. Baltimore, Maryland. Orlando, Florida. Northampton, Massachusetts. Detroit, Michigan. St. Louis, Missouri. Houston, Texas. Cary, North Carolina. Minneapolis, Minnesota. West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Those are in no particular order, and I’ve probably forgotten a few. Apologies! It’s nothing personal and I’m sure they were wonderful, I’m just a lousy record-keeper. At any rate, while I’ve attended cons closer to home as an ordinary registered participant, and my publishers have sent me to Comic-Con in San Diego and New York, where I’ve been a teeny-tiny fish in a very big pond, in most of these instances, I was a featured guest or a guest of honor.

This is where the Frugal Vampire Principle comes into play: It means a) I was invited, and b) the con paid for my travel, lodging and meals. Hence, my advice to fans wishing I’d attend a con in your neck of the woods: Lobby your nearest con committee! Or better yet, volunteer! Becoming part of the con staff is a great way to get involved.

This advice, by the way, is applicable to the majority of writers. Most of us operate on the Frugal Vampire Principle. We love the chance to travel the world and meet our fans—just secure us an invitation and a plane ticket! In exchange, we will gladly participate in panel discussions, give readings, do booksignings, pose for photos, attend galas, judge masquerade contests—whatever the programming committee asks of us.

On that note, I’m looking forward to adding Biloxi, Mississippi to the list, where I’ll be a Guest of Honor at CoastCon this month, and I’m happy to announce that I’ll be a Guest of Honor at ConClave in Livonia, Michigan in October 2016.

Hope to see some of you there!

On the homepage: Lake Michigan landscapes look almost surreal this time of year!