Upon my arrival in LA it seemed like my experience might not be such a good one. I was at the car rental counter when I realized, to my horror, that I'd left my wallet in Seattle! I use my passport for ID when I travel, so I didn't realize the wallet was missing until I tried to rent my car. No driver's license, no credit card, no car. Uncharacteristically for me, I had a good amount of cash on me so I was able to pay for the $70 cab ride to my hotel (where they let me check in because the room was pre-paid) but it was an inauspicious start to say the least. Thankfully, my sainted husband was able to Fed Ex my wallet to me and by yesterday I was back on track.
Book Expo has been good. While Green Ronin is not exhibiting, Diamond Book Distributors has a large presence and their show graphics feature some of our products, including the upcoming A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. I've been able to make numerous printer contacts and the like. There is a large contingent of librarians here as well. I've been pretty impressed with the seminar tracks have attended several seminars each day. Some have been very informative and some have been just plain entertaining. Yesterday I was able to make it to a seminar with Thomas Friedman, who I vaguely remembered as being kind of a pro-Iraq War jerk but his writings on environmentalism intrigued me. I was not disappointed by his speech. I also managed to see jeff Bezos's presentation about the Kindle, where his numbers and enthusiasm were interesting but then during the Q&A when things touched on Amazon's Print On Demand policies, the audience was restless and Bezos's non-answers on the subject brought to mind "douchebag" more than "visionary". For fun I attended the last seminar of the day: Tor's Patrick Nielsen Hayden moderating a talk with John Scalzi, Markos Moulitsas, and Cory Doctorow. I was sitting in the front of the room, close enough that I could hear the guys talking amongst themselves before the seminar started and I kept thinking, man, I'd love to just sit down and be part of this conversation! Little did I know then that an hour and a half later I'd be having dinner with Cory and the inestimable Wil Wheaton. An inadvertent walking tour of downtown LA and an engaging conversation over excellent vegetarian Thai food. Couldn't have been better (well, maybe fewer blisters from the 4 mile walk in girly dress shoes could have been better, but it was worth the price). A nightcap with Paizo's Erik Mona topped off the evening and I finally made it out to my hotel, where I ran into two quite tipsy ladies from a publisher services organization in Minnesota with whom I exchanged cards.
Today I have a full schedule of seminars that I hope will prove as entertaining and informative as yesterday's!