Saturday is a busy day here at Sherrilyn Kenyon’s K-Con. First to the Hospitality room for breakfast, soda, oj, croissants, donuts, candy. Pretty standard conference fare, but the real reason to be here is to talk about all that happened the day before and of course, rehash all the books and defend your favorite characters.
10:00 a.m. is a writer’s workshop given by Dianna Love Snell in one room and a Reader’s Session with Sherrilyn and, wait a minute, is that schedule correct? I’m the other person on the panel. Is this some cosmic joke? I don’t even have my diet Coke to fall back on.
The room fills with the Kenyon Minions (as they call themselves, like Marie K. Sherman, right) and the room is abuzz with anticipation. Sherri gets them to settle down by using her "teacher’s" voice (one of many past professions). She introduces me and I tell the tale of my journey to become PW’s blogger. The audience laughs at the appropriate times and I hand the mike back to Sherri and it becomes a Kenyon lovefest. The camera flashes are blinding, but they are here to idolize the Queen of the Dark-Hunters. Sherri answers each question as if it’s the first time she’s heard it. Her patience, respect for her fans and her ability to remember nearly every person’s name is endearing and some other authors could take a page from her playbook.
Looking more like a bride at her wedding, Sherri spends the luncheon going from table to table to personally talk to each person who’s made the trip with some coming from as far away as Ireland, the Bahamas and even Canada.
After a delicious meal, the winners of the previous night’s Dark-Hunter costumes are announced. Then Sherrilyn makes a special presentation to those who have worked so hard for her to make this all possible, including the volunteers. I was shocked, but honored to receive a special certificate, but really, it was the little box of Godiva chocolates that brought tears to my eyes. Boy, does she have my number.
Next up is a booksigning and games. The stage is set for Family Feud. Five players on each team: AJ Stalkers vs. Ash’s Girls. The categories are all about the books, both Kenyon and Kinley McGregor. It was a tight match, but the AJ Stalkers came out on top (and I didn’t even have one answer right).
Now the Haunted Mansion tour that winds through the streets while our tour guide, Charles, talked with a really bad fake accent (I don’t even know what country he was trying to do). The stories were gross, terrifying, sad and left the impression that yes, vampires are all too real. (But I knew that already…I mean Angel, duh) On the tour we saw a wedding procession, funeral procession, and an anti-war protest. We also stopped in 2 bars, but I’m not sure if that was really part of the tour.
Everyone rushed back for a quick dinner and then prepped for the Lords of Avalon Costume Ball. Now these were elaborate outfits. Food, drinks and music. The party was in full swing and then came the raffle drawings. Proceeds went to Habitat for Humanity, but the frenzy was on since ARCs of The Dark-Hunter Companion and Ash’s Story were being given out (along with a kazillion other prices….not that I won anything. Drats!!) So, while there was scattered applause for the winners, there were more than a few groans from the losers (no, I wasn’t the loudest groaner). (Pictured right: Shelly Marino, Suzanne Henry, Tamara Gottschalk and Hailey Henry)
The music got everyone up and dancing and Dianna brought boas for those of us who were costume challenged. No early night for me. Where did this burst of energy come from? The wild and crazy groupies who find fun and joy by being with others who share the same passion for books that they do. (Pictured left: me with boa and Christina Cross. Right: Laurel Wakeling and Terra Codack)
Bottom Line: Boas…the must have accessory of the season.
Bottom Line 3: Well, only one night left to trip over naked, unconscious man. Too much pressure.