Ahoy MidSouthCon 31!

It's almost time!

I speak not of my next colonoscopy, but of my attendance at MidSouthCon 31.

If MidSouthCon is not known to you, it is the premiere SF/fantasy con in this part of the country. Held in Memphis, MidSouthCon is large enough to attract big names (Cherie Priest, Steve Jackson, John Picacio) and small enough to feel intimate and relaxed.

I'm even on a panel this year. If you're going to be at the Con, stop by the Grand Ballroom at 3:00 PM Saturday, where I'll be joining other Darrell Awards winners and nominees to talk writing.

I enjoy the panels. You can find everything from nuts-and-bolts author sessions to ghost hunting techniques. There truly is something for everyone.

Of course the press will concentrate solely on the cosplayers (i.e., people dressed up as fantasy/SF characters). Which is understandable, since the cosplayers are a dedicated and imaginative bunch. I've seen some truly awe-inspiring outfits at MidSouthCon, which always has a strong steampunk showing. Last year's girl with articulated wings was one of my favorites.

The Storm Troopers are always in attendance as well. They're a nice friendly helpful bunch, although they are a bit sensitive about mentions of unshielded thermal exhaust ports.

And what Con would be complete without zombies? We get all kinds. Zombie storm troopers. Zombie Alices. Zombie cheerleaders. Zombie tax preparers...


And, of course, steampunk Catwoman. Because -- who needs a freakin' reason?

This year I'm going to try something different at the Con. Along with the usual photos, I hope to post some short audio interviews (and possibly even video segments) with any of the more interesting cosplayers and attendees I can corner -- er, invite to take part in my blog. I've spent a lot of time tweaking my ancient Dell netbook, getting it up to snuff, and I'll be taking my microphones as well as my camera.

So, with any luck, next week's blog will feature an extensive Con report, with pictures.

March 26 is of course the release date for Brown River Queen. To celebrate, I'll be at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, where I'll be grabbing the ankles of passers-by and begging them to buy a copy until the University Police Department tazes me into unconsciousness. You don't want to miss that, so if you're in Oxford on Tuesday the 26th, please stop by the B & N at noon. I'll also be signing copies of The Broken Bell, so even if you don't have a Kindle or a Nook you can buy a print book.

Did you know that authors who fail to sell all the books at a signing are ritually shaven and then held underwater for eight minutes by the infuriated bookstore manager? It's true. I mention that not to entice you to buy a book, but just to pass the time. I'm pretty sure I can hold my breath for three of the eight minutes, and let's face it, another five minutes of brain damage probably won't have a significant effect on my cognitive skills.

I'm kidding. Signings are a lot of fun, and the people at Barnes & Noble have been most gracious and kind. There WILL BE SNACKS. I am willing to share.

To recap -- noon on Tuesday the 26th at the Barnes & Noble on the Ole Miss campus. Stop by and say hello!

One final word: progress on the new Markhat went very well last week. Looks like I might make my goal of writing two novels this year after all.

Of course it's one thing to write the books, and another to sell them. But unless I've completely lost my ability to tell good from bad, this new book is a good one.

Speaking of which, it's time to get back to work.

See you at MidSouthCon 31!