Phoenix ComicCon 2016 (belated)

Well, this is coming mighty late isn’t it? Here we are in late July and I’m FINALLY getting to a convention that happened in the beginning of June. Damn real life getting in the way of authoring life!!!!

I had a great time at Phoenix ComicCon and definitely plan on going back in future years. I was shocked by how many people were there. I had only found out about the con through some authors on Twitter and didn’t think it was a big deal. Was I ever wrong!

Exhibitor Hall
Outside the Exhibitor Hall. This was actually pretty tame.

I had a quick moment to peruse the Exhibitor Hall before I had to run off to my first panel. A lot of the standard comic convention booths and tons of indie artists, writers, and comics. I didn’t waste time and picked up a children’s book about a boy and his pirate teddy bear for my nephews as well as a signed copy of Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve heard great things about the Stormlight Archive, but I have been putting off starting such a huge undertaking. I’m already behind on my reading as it is. But I finally gave in.

I made my way to Michael Stackpole’s writing workshop: The Rules of Writing. I had attended this panel in 2011 at GenCon, but knew I could use a refresher. Not to mention Michael is in the upcoming Never Fear: Tarot and Unknown Worlds: Xeno Encounters anthologies, of which I am also a part (news on those coming in a future post). Good advice as always. A lot stuff I’ve heard before but can never hear enough. If you are starting your writing career, I highly recommend attending any Michael’s workshops.

I then popped into two more panels: Adventuring Parties: Still Cool? and one on worldbuilding. The consensus of the Adventuring Party panel was, of course, that adventuring parties are awesome. Sam Sykes and Patrick Routhfuss kept us all laughing throughout. I then went to the Del Rey Spotlight and listened to authors, such as Kevin Hearne, Scott Sigler, and Pierce Brown talk about their upcoming books. Since then Scott Sigler’s book “Alive” has hit #1 on the NYT Bestseller List. Then was the Worldbuilding panel with Brandon Sanderson and Victoria Schwab. A great take away from this panel was the advice to go deeper, rather than wider. What this means is that it’s better to go more in-depth on a very few aspects of your world instead of trying to explain a little bit of everything, but with no intricate details.

I ended the day with a stop by Sam Syke’s signing and picked up The Mortal Tally, having just finished City Stained Red on audiobook. This left me with a very heavy bag to lug around my roaming of the Exhibitor Hall for the rest of the day.

Workout of the Day: Carry these heavy books all over the place!

The next day started off with Sam Sykes’ Author Batsu. I’m still not sure what this was. I watched several authors be punished by having to eat habanero salsa. Don’t know. I jsut don’t know. I stopped down to the dealer hall afterward and Brandon Sanderson just so happened to have been at the Writing Excuses table doing a signing. The line wasn’t too long, so I hopped on in to pick up a copy of Elantris. Then one of the volunteers at the booth showed me the 10th Anniversary edition of Elantris they had for sale. This book was beautiful, that’s the only way to describe it. Here are the pictures so you don’t have to bear the pain of me trying to tell you about it.


On the way out of the Exhibitor Hall, I had to stop and take a picture of the first (and only) Warhammer 40k cosplay I found. THE EMPEROR PROTECTS!


Then off to Drinks With Authors!!!! Met up with Gini Koch, whom I met at StokerCon. It was great to see her again, such a nice person and always dropping publishing knowledge bombs on me. There was a raffle to benefit literacy programs and I scored William King’s World of Warcraft book, Illidan. I’ve played all of two hours of WoW, but loved William’s Warhammer Fantasy books, especially Gotrek and Felix, so I’m looking forward to getting to this one. Now I just need to  figure out whether to read it before or after Way of Kings…..

A drink (or two) with Gini

Then the after-party put on by Blue Ribbon Army. They did a great job turning the room into a nerd-themed party, full of Narnia, Hogwarts, Game of Thrones, and Middle-Earth themed  decorations. Unfortunately, I had to work for Mama Marine Corps the next morning, so had to call it an early night.


Vodka will do that to you

Overall, an awesome experience. Got to nerd out for the first time in a long time and refill on some great writing advice and motivation. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to read all the books I walked away with, especially with so many projects that need to be finished, but I scored some pretty solid reads that will keep me busy. Looking forward to the next Phoenix ComicCon.


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