I have a book coming out on June 6th, I may have mentioned it before? Queers Dig Time Lords, co-edited by myself and Michael Thomas?
Yep, that’s the one!
Well, Michael and I held the book launch this past weekend at Wiscon. As far as I can tell, it went smoothly.
I’m not sure what to say about the events — mostly because I don’t know what the audience is for this blog post. Are you my friend who missed con and wants to read ALL THE CON REPORTS so she can feel like she was there? Are you a fan of Doctor Who hoping for information about the book and what’s in it? Are you my brother reading blog posts to stay informed about my life while not really caring about Who or Wiscon?
The launch events all went smoothly. They were exhausting for me, personally, because I am Not An Extrovert. Funny thing — I talked to someone I’ve spent three or four Wiscons with now, who said she had *no idea* I am not an extrovert. So, the faking it is WORKING. But it’s a vast effort.
But the thing about a book launch party is, one wants to make complete strangers excited and happy to be a part of the party. One wants to give people warm, fuzzy feelings about the good time they had at the party, and the fun people who threw it who made them feel welcome, and one HOPES that those good feelings transfer in some slight manner to the book.
To be perfectly crass about it, if you drink my booze I hope you will remember my book fondly and perhaps even buy it.
But one cannot merely set up drinks and sit in a corner. I’ve seen what happens at parties like that. People walk in, feel glared at even if no glaring has occurred, grab a carrot stick off the snacks tray, and leave. One has to invite. One has to welcome. One has to talk and greet and try one’s level best to make people glad that they have walked into YOUR party. I am not the world’s best person at this, certainly. But for four hours on Friday night, oh did I try.
The room was full, and excruciatingly LOUD. That’s a good sign — it was loud because many, many people stayed in the room to talk. We served many, many drinks, but had deliberately chosen to serve a lower alcohol content this year than last, so we worried somewhat less about people’s tolerances.
I want to especially thank the other hosts for their work. Before the party, doing shopping and set-up, and at the party. With the five or so of us — I am ashamed to admit that I don’t actually know how many of us involved were actually OFFICIALLY HOSTING the party — all greeting, talking, and serving drinks, I think everyone who came by was welcomed. And I would like to especially thank Brit and Amal for doing push-ups on the floor of the party, to great applause.
On Saturday we had the Queers Dig Time Lords Book Launch Panel. The panelists were Michael Damian Thomas, Julia Rios, Brit Mandelo, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Amal El-Mohtar, and Na’amen Gobert Tilahun. Everyone talked a bit about their essay, and then a bit about what they would have liked to put into the book but couldn’t figure out how to include. The panelists — guys, I am super-wicked-proud of y’all. You all were ON. The audience laughed at the jokes, loved the digressions, and were pretty damn engaged for 10:00 on Saturday morning.
I talked to the book store, A Room of One’s Own, in the Dealer’s Room later, and was told that a rush of people came buy on Saturday after the panel and bought most of their stock of QDTL. So, good work, team!
(And a huge thanks to A Room of One’s Own for stocking all of the Mad Norwegian “Dig” books for us!)
The same group of panelists had a reading in the afternoon. I am not a big reading-attending sort of person, and don’t have a great measure of what makes one good. The audience outnumbered the panelists, though, so I am counting it as a win. And the reading was held at Michaelangelo’s Coffee Shop, so I had cake.
There’s really no down-side to cake and terrific essays in conjunction.
After that, I was done was the professional-promotion portion of the convention. It … it makes things weird, certainly. I’ve been going to Wiscon for years, over a decade. And the last two, I’ve spent some portion of the con trying to lure people into reading a book I helped create. It’s ODD. Let me say that again: IT IS ODD.
But a happy sort of odd.
Thank again, everyone. Everyone who helped with parties and panels, everyone who contributed to the book, and everyone who ATTENDED the party and panels. None of it works without an audience, so you have my gratitude.
Filed under: Autobiography, Books, Conventions | Tagged: qdtl, wiscon | Leave a Comment »