The coolest panel ever

Yesterday morning I was on a panel with Steven Saylor, Lindsey Davis, and John Maddox Roberts.  So that's the Three Gods of ancient mysteries, and...er...me.  Also three Romans and a Greek.

And it was an absolute blast.  Ever since, I've been begging our editor Keith Kahla to do it again some time.  The session was standing room only, including my own dear cheer squad.  Thanks guys!  I will modestly admit I acquitted myself well.  My previous public speaking experience helped a lot.  To anyone who thinks or hopes to be in the same situation in the future: get some practise well beforehand.

I wish I could give you a verbatim script of everything that was said, because a lot of it was fascinating stuff.  I'll post photos at some point in the future; I have some but they need to be reworked and my travel machine is not the tool for the job.  At some point in the future I'll collate some of the bits that particularly struck me.

I didn't realize until later, and John confirmed, that despite all three publishing great stories for decades, this was the first time ever that Steven, Lindsey and John have been on the same stage at the same time. An historic moment.

People came up to say hello to me afterwards, complete strangers who wished me well, which I thought was very kind.  Then it was down to the book room.  All the authors sign for half an hour or so after their talks.  (Janet did an agent talk earlier in the week, and lo and behold they assigned her a signing space afterwards, for her non-existent book.)

Signings for newbies are a fraught exercise due to the tendency  to be assigned spaces next to Lee Child or Charlaine Harris.  Their queue snakes out the room and around the building while you sit there playing with a pen.  I was pleasantly surprised!  People not only bought the book and brought it over, but at one point I even had...OMG...a queue.  This is debut author heaven.  There were three books left in the store when the signing finished.  They disappeared that afternoon.  So I sold out!  There's no question in my mind what made that happen: the high quality of the panel session that came before.

31 comments:

C. N. Nevets said...

Such a panel! Steven Saylor's stories in Ellery Queen were what prompted me as a writer to realize the range of possibilities within any given genre or form, and where I learned the importance of taking a complex and fascinating backdrop world and making it something readers can relate to.

I'm excited for you, Gary, that had you had that opportunity, and that your own signing went so well!

It's a runaway train!

T. Anne said...

I wish I was there! Sounds like you had a great time. I read Janet's tweets last night. I hope you had fun at dinner!

H Niyazi said...

Congrats Gary! That must have been thrilling for you indeed.

Do you have any pics of the event?

Kind Regards
H

Gary Corby said...

I've got some pictures, but they all came out dark and need some work, which I can't do on my teensy netbook. Steven Saylor had a friend who took photos too, and I think they may have come out as dark, so I guess it's the lighting. Either that or we're the forces of darkness. So I'll post when I have something mildly visible.

I wish all you lovely people were here!

Of course, a few of you are!

I'm afraid I've totally lost track of twitter while everything's happening. I don't have phone twitter, particularly not in the US where I use a cheap prepaid phone, so I'm highly intermittent.

vickileon.com said...

Awesome reporting on an awesome event, Gary! bravissimo, including the signing, which as you say, can be exquisitely humbling/embarrassing if there are lines for authors to the left and for authors to the right...sounds like your Pericles is a real hit! cheers, Vicki Leon

IHahn said...

Congratulations, Gary!

@Vicki: Go get the book! ;-)

RWMG said...

When is the video coming up on YouTube?

Gary Corby said...

There's no video! Unless someone filmed that I didn't notice.

Bouchercon has gone better than I could have expected. Particularly meeting again the friends I made last year and meeting new ones. It's reached the point that I can't keep up with all the great people I know who attend. I barely had a chance to say hi to Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell.

Gary Corby said...

And next stop...Seattle.

RWMG said...

Glad you're enjoying yourself, Gary.

RWMG said...

FYI Steven Saylor has put up a photo of you all on FB.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Congratulations! And kudos for acquitting yourself well in the presence such an impressive roster of writers! It sounds like you held your own and that is no small thing. So excited for you....

Cherie Reich said...

That's so exciting!! And, that panel...Wow! And, you should have a queue for your book. I can't wait to read it myself! Then again, since I majored in Classics, of course, I love reading anything ancient Greek and Roman. Good luck with your book! It really looks awesome!

Leonie Corby said...

Congratulations on it all going so well.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Cherie. Of course, my queue was 10% of Lindsey's queue, but hey, the mere fact people were interested is just a buzz.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Robert for pointing out there's a good photo of us at (here's the link) Steven Saylor's FB.

Those things hanging from our necks that look suspiciously like for-sale signs are convention passes.

RWMG said...

One down and nineteen to go and yours will be as big as hers, Gary. If size matters.

Gary Corby said...

Ha! You just can't win at these things. Kelli Stanley wrote easily the best and most popular new ancient mystery of 2008 (Nox Dormienda; go read it) and then some sadist placed her signing desk right next to Michael Connelly.

Barrie said...

Some panels just click! So glad you were part of one!

RWMG said...

I've heard of Nox Dormienda, though taken unawares I wouldn't be able to tell you who it was by, and I haven't seen it in the shops. But who is Michael Connelly?

Gary Corby said...

Hi Barrie, yes, that's exactly what it was like. Of course it helps that the other three are such nice people, and so cool about having me there.

It'll be great to meet you at last in San Diego!

Gary Corby said...

Robert, Michael Connelly is a crime writer, to put it mildly. His main hero is Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch.

Yes, I thought you'd like that character name.

Connelly's also involved in piles of TV stuff, notably on Castle he's one of the guys who plays poker with the fictitious crime writer hero.

Taymalin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taymalin said...

A bit off topic, but I finally got my hands on a copy of Steven Saylor's Roma. None of the bookstores had it, but the library did. I'm excited!

Gary Corby said...

Steven Saylor's Roma is decidedly on topic, Taymalin. My excursion into Michael Connelly however...

Actually, if it's interesting, then no matter what you say, it's on topic.

Taymalin said...

Don't tell me that Gary, I find many things that are decidedly off-topic interesting, and could hi-jack your comment section for longwinded political rants.

But, staying on topic, I was right to be excited for Roma. I'm into the section dealing with Romulus and Remus and thus far the book is excellent. I was a bit wary of the saga style narrative, but I'm enjoying it.

Roman history is particularly interesting to me, so it was great to discover an author who writes about it. So thank you for talking about Mr. Saylor in your blog, I'd have never picked up one of his books otherwise.

Hehe. Look at you influencing people's reading choices. You must use this power only for mischief ;)

Peter Rozovsky said...

You more than held your own in that pantheon.
==========================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Peter! I certainly learned a lot.

Peter Rozovsky said...

We learned something from yo about the provenance of garmm.

Now, given the Symposium, what do you think -- Panels: invented by the Greeks?
==========================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Gary Corby said...

I really should repost my original article on garum/garos.

They did take turns talking about the same thing, in the Symposium, didn't they? I think you might be right about the panels.

Amalia T. said...

Congratulations on selling out, Gary! And congratulations on having a queue!! That's FABULOUS! So glad that your panel went well and things are happening that fall under the category of "Author heaven"!