Covering Gen Con Indy 2010: Salvatore stalking

Last week I told you about my experiences in attending Gen Con Indy 2010 to cover it for a newspaper and a magazine.  I talked about the game demos and hype.  And while that was a great part of my Gen Con experience, I wouldn’t say the games were the highlight this year.

OK, hard core gamers can stop gasping now.  Instead, the writing side of things got me.  Writing and reading are my first loves.  They’ve been with me since childhood.  I would be remiss to ignore them.

And if you’ve read my blog before, you know that I’m a fan of author R.A. Salvatore.  He’s great at showing instead of telling.  This year, he was at Gen Con Indy.  I felt a bit like a stalker.

R.A. Salvatore signging my book.

R.A. Salvatore signing my book.

My Salvatore experience started on Friday when we waited in line with other fans for a book signing.  I brought along the first collection of books from his well known “Legend of Drizzt” line.  This was the compilation of books that got me hook, line and sinker on my first foray into reading fantasy novels.  For the first time in a while, I was actually a bit nervous.  I’m a stereotypical writer anyway in that I’m more of an introvert.  If I’d have been interviewing him for an article, I would have been fine.  To just talk to him had me slightly flustered.

But, I pressed on and stumbled over my words as I told him how I started reading only his novels.  I also got worried that maybe he wouldn’t be nice.  I didn’t know if I could keep reading his books if he weren’t nice.  However, he was very nice and even shook my hand.  He made sure to spell my name correctly which won points for me as well.

The Salvatore stalking continued a couple of hours later when 38 Studios hosted both him and Curt Shilling in a meet-and-greet/T-Shirt signing to promote their highly anticipated game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

My favorite Salvatore experience, though, was his two-hour seminar on Saturday.  We arrived early to get good seats.  As I sat on the floor outside the seminar room, Salvatore himself came up and waited across the hall from me.  I didn’t say a word to him, though.  I figured the guy needed a break from talking to folks.  Besides, I was again stuck with what to say.

The seminar itself was great.  The two hours zoomed by.  The seminar began with talking about the new game release, but then turned into a Q&A about all things Salvatore, including his books and writing.  I was fascinated.  I learned some stories behind the stories, so to speak.  And I learned about some characters that I hadn’t yet encountered through the books I’d read.  It was fascinating. Turns out that Salvatore is just as good at telling stories verbally as he is in print.

I will say that I left the session feeling a bit like writing fiction would be a good idea.  I started out as a kid writing fiction.  And I’d like to do it again someday, but for now I”m sticking with my nonfiction journalism while respecting the people who create entire worlds in their heads.

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