April 9th, 2009

Dispatches From the Wild

There's been so much going on lately that I see no other option than a massive number of posts over the next couple of days to get caught up.

I should probably start talking about all the amazing experiences I've been having working on "Where I Write" which is a series of photos showing off the workspace of (at the moment) fantasy and science fiction authors. This is going to be in the program guide at Worldcon and, I imagine, eventually it will be a book (how could it not be? You'd buy it, wouldn't you?)

I figured that since people are taking time out of their lives to show me their desks, make me tea, sign my books, and tell me their life stories, I should give something back -- so, apart from the "Where I Write" photos, I'm trying also to take a portrait (or two or three) that's useful to the author -- which might mean a photo they can use on their website, a glamour shot of their new race car, or a family portrait that they can mail around to friends and whatnot.

In Chicago last week I was fortunate to meet E. E. Knight author of the Vampire Earth books (Which sport the fabulous tag line: "The year is 2065, the Earth is under new management") which are actually about aliens more than they are about vampires and the whole thing reminds me more of Red Dawn than Dracula. If you haven't read them, think a bit of Mad Max, a bit of Blade Runner, a bit of W. E. B. Griffin, and, okay, a bit of Dracula. He also writes the Age of Fire series of sophisticated books about dragons.

Here's my portrait of E.E. in front of a painting done by his mother:

And continuing with the dragon theme, Margaret Weis is famous for the Dragonlance novels, of which there are many. I photographed here here with the cover painting for Fire Sea -- the book cover actually used only a tiny sliver of the painting -- and one of her dogs, Max. Margaret has the most beautiful house that's really a 100 year old barn, but the amazing sort of 100 year old barn with a wrap-around deck and recessed lighting that makes you think "Heck, I want to live in a barn."

Both E.E. and Margaret were awesome, fabulous people. It's really wonderful to see the places that they sit and do the things they do that change our lives from so far away. I once sent a fan letter to Clive Cussler and about four months later I got a letter back (an actual letter d00ds) it had footprints and dirt all over it and I thought "Sweet Barking Cheese! This must have been laying on the floor of his car for a week!" the fact that my letter might have been effluvium in the passenger seat-well of his Duesenberg made it all the more exciting.


More stories from the road soon, but I shall leave you with a question:

What do you wonder most about your favorite author?

Incarnations of your humble narrator

I just saw that Piers Anthony blogged about me. How cool is that? He called Armed America "a beautiful and insightful book".

We had a wonderful time at his place. He's 74 years old, jogs two miles every day, lives on a tree farm and -- it's kind of freaky, but he looks a bit like me, but older. Beard, pony tail ... he's a vegetarian too -- I think we bonded instantly. He has a huge office, bigger than some sf writers HOUSES that I've seen, and it sits atop a two room library. I did a 360' panorama while he told great stories.

Oh, and he does archery every day to keep his arm strength up. He complains about his aim, but when I got to his house, I saw that he's shooting at targets 80 yards away. I don't think I could hit a Coup DeVille from that far back.

I really should be doing my taxes right now, but Trillian's at rehearsal so I can't shout "DARLING! PIERS ANTHONY JUST BLOGGED ABOUT ME!" (well, I could shout it, but it wouldn't do any good, it would just annoy the cats).