Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Stargate Convention - August 2015

Wow, what an amazing weekend at Creation Entertainment’s Official Stargate Convention in Chicago!

After months of planning, Tom and I arrived full of nervous anticipation at the Westin O'Hare.

Our home for the weekend!
We had books and authors arriving from all directions, a ‘Meet the Readers’ breakfast to organise, and a Stargate Novels panel to host.  It promised to be a fun-packed but hectic weekend!

Things kicked off on Thursday night when I dropped off copies of STARGATE SG-1: Hostile Ground and STARGATE SG-1: Exile with the wonderful Keith Homel. Keith had organised a pre-event auction to raise money in support of research into Dysautonomia. Along with signed copies of our books, Laura and I offered to name a character in book three of the Apocalypse trilogy after the winning bidder. To our total shock and delight, on Friday morning we discovered that our auction item had raised $1000 for the charity!  Stargate fans are seriously awesome.

But there was no time to dwell in the warm glow, because we had work to do.  Tom and I set up our stand in a prime location outside the dealer’s room, just in time for the convention to open at midday. 

Stargate Novels...you have a go!

We had a fun afternoon meeting the early convention arrivals while we waited for the rest of our authors to fly in.  First to arrive was Laura Harper, all the way from Scotland.  A little later in the afternoon Melissa Scott and Jo Graham arrived from North Carolina, and in the evening Diana Dru Botsford flew in from Texas: the Stargate Novels Team was ready to go!

Diana Dru Botsford, Melissa Scott, Jo Graham
Laura Harper and me!

Saturday morning started early with our ‘Get to know the Readers’ breakfast.  Five authors and twenty-one Stargate fans sat down to eat breakfast together and talk about all things Stargate. Thanks so much to everyone who came along. It was wonderful to meet you all and to find out what you love about Stargate and Stargate novels. The breakfast was pretty delicious too – thank you Benchmark Restaurant!

Say cheese!
Our 'Meet the Readers' breakfast
Later on, we were back at our table ready to talk some more and to sign our books. Again, we were blown away by the generosity of Stargate fans and the amazing stories they told us about the significance these shows have had in their lives. Truly inspiring! 

But we also had time to check out the actors signing nearby…  

Gary Jones on Gary Jones!

Peter Williams (aka Apophis!)
 … and to get up close and personal with a trio of Goa’uld!

Peter Williams, Suanne Braun, Cliff Simon (aka Apophis, Hathor and Baal!)
We had a more leisurely start to Sunday, and Laura and I had the great pleasure of meeting James O’Kane, the winner of our auction item.  We had a really good chat with James, and the character we developed while talking to him is actually going to become pretty pivotal to book three of the Apocalypse series. So it was, literally, a win-win situation for all of us. We’re excited to get going on the final book – and to introduce you all to James’ character!

After that, it was time for the Stargate Novels Panel: Keeping the Gate Open. It was an enormous privilege to spend an hour answering people’s questions about what we do, and we were overwhelmed by the support we received from our readers. Thank you all so much for coming – we really appreciated it.

Below are a few pics, but if you’d like to see the whole panel you can watch it here:

And look out for the moment when a special guest joins us - that was definitely a highlight! (Warning: spoiler pic below!)

Jo, our compère
Laura's not singing, I promise
Melissa gets a tricky question...
Diana gets serious
Paul McGillion makes a surprise appearance!
After our panel, things got busy on the stand.  We were thrilled that so many people told us how much they’d enjoyed the panel, and how our enthusiasm for the show had convinced them to pick up one of our novels for the first time.  It was a pretty humbling experience.

As Sunday wound down, it was time for us to pack up and head our separate ways - although, sadly, not through the Stargate.  

Would you send this team through the gate?
We had a wonderful time in Chicago and would love to come back next year.  A huge thank you to the people at Creation Entertainment for making it happen, and to our authors for all their tireless enthusiasm.  

And an enormous thank you goes to the wonderful Stargate fans that made us feel so welcome throughout the weekend - and, without whom, we couldn't keep the gate open. 

You guys are the best!

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