C2E2 Reflections

3/21/2016 09:28:00 AM Lexie Dunne 0 Comments

So this weekend was the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo—aka C2E2—and my first repeat convention (which was really neat, but I’ll get to that later). Since it’s within driving distance, my friends Jen and Mike and I headed north Friday morning with a car full of food and nerd references. Here are some of the highlights from my trip:

WETA panel. On Friday, WETA (who’ve done the costumes for Lord of the Rings and Mad Max Fury Road, etc) turned a man into a dwarf. Hector—Oin’s stunt double—kept up a running peanut gallery commentary while another man did the makeup, and it was pretty much a goldmine of Hobbit Behind the Scenes trivia. Some of the wigs cost about $20k, for example, and all of the actors didn’t want to give up doing the barrel in the river scene because it was too fun.

Mary Robinette Kowal. I met her when she came to Ferguson for a workshop, but this was the first chance I had to talk to her at length (twice). She was the dragon guarding the convention because the Tor booth was in the front and to get to most of the places, you needed to walk by her. She convinced me to sign up for the Nebula conference in May (I have no idea how I’m going to pay for it, but it’s professional development and after getting tongue-tied in front of Claudia Gray, I need to work on that). Don’t cross her because she can do the The Stare, which she was happy to demonstrate on me. She will probably end up putting her “Are you writing?” scolding look on YouTube, and that’s going to be at least partially my fault.

Fight the Power! The first panel I made it to starred pub sib Michelle Hauck, so I got to meet her and stare creepily at the back of Bishop O’Connell’s head. LIFE. MADE. I realized fellow pub sib Kelley Grant was in the audience when we tweeted the same Bishop quote.

My book haul from Saturday!!!
Del Rey Panel - This featured Claudia Gray, whom my friend Sam is convinced is my brain-twin (we have kind of similar starting-in-publishing stories and we both made the same terrible joke about Chicago within ten seconds of each other) and Michael J. Sullivan, whom I’d never heard of before but who is very nice! I walked away with quite a few of the books they featured. I’m most excited about SLEEPING GIANTS. Things I learned from this panel:
• To write a tie-in novel, you have to be very good with deadlines.
• The reason a lot of lawyers become writers is that practicing law is basically telling a story. The prosecution crafts their story, the defense crafts theirs, and the best story wins.
• China Mieville is trying to hit every single genre.
• Claudia Gray’s not sure how to write Artoo’s dialogue either.
Deleted Scenes - The other Dunne (also known as Rachel) was on this panel and Bishop moderated, so I followed Michael J. Sullivan between panels. He made a point about levity: oftentimes scenes are cut from movies or books because they’re the humorous, but really, leaving levity out of a book makes it unrealistic. We face situations with humor as often as we possibly can. After all, Sullivan pointed out, one of the funniest jokes he’d ever heard was at a funeral. I made it to their signing and loaded myself down with books, spent time chatting with authors, etc. etc. On Saturday, I met up with most of them again at dinner at Elephant and Castle, where I got to eat Yorkshire Pudding and heckle everybody. And I have officially bought Bishop the beer that I owe him. Never get into a writing speed competition right before you have to write a sex scene.

Yorkshire pudding! Delicious as promised.

Ode to Sidekicks - Finally, my panel! My fellow panelists were Judd Winnick, Kelley Grant, Jaleigh Johnson, and Christina Henry, and the panel was filmed, so you’ll get to see it on YouTube at some point. We had a great discussion about the relationship between the sidekick, and I struggled a bit with some of my answers because in my mind Gail IS the sidekick, so I had to approach everything from a slightly different point of view from the other panelists. Didn’t manage to get my ENTIRE foot in my mouth, though I did nibble on my toes, so I’m considering it a win. Even better, I got to see people I’d met last year at the signing and several people bought both books! I signed stock at Anderson’s Bookstore, but I don’t think it’s going to be made available online.


Deep dish pizza on the way out of town!

Oh, right, and I may have announced the title of Gail 3 at the panel. It’s HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD and like everything that comes from Gail, you should take any instructions she gives you inside it with a serious grain of salt.

How was everybody else’s weekend?

Stay sexy!


Please keep it PG. My mom reads this blog.