When my best friend asked me if I was attending Rose City Comic Con, I initially said no. Then I read that Larry Correia was going to be attending and my tune immediately changed. I had just finished the first book in his Monster Hunter series and was thoroughly hooked. I had already made a note on my calendar that he would be signing books at Powell’s in November, but being able to meet him and get his signature sooner was too good of an opportunity to miss. I asked my friend if there was any possibility I could go along (provided I bought my own ticket, of course) and found that there was indeed a free seat that I could occupy.
I bought my ticket and found myself to be abnormally excited by the prospect of having a book signed by the author. I mean, at the time I didn’t even own a physical copy of any of his books! I also planned to give him a gift of one of my original pieces of artwork, not something I do very often anymore. It didn’t take me very long to figure out why I was becoming so emotional about this.
It’s because the vast majority of my favorite authors have passed away and I will never get the chance to have a book signed by them. I can certainly buy a signed copy of one of their books, but it wasn’t signed for me. I never got to meet them. I can’t tell Ray Bradbury how much joy his stories have always brought me. I can’t tell Isaac Asimov how much I admire the brilliance of his plots. I can’t tell Brian Jacques how the world he built is so full and wondrous in my mind. Such is the curse of anyone who loves books that were written in previous generations.
I hadn’t realized that burden on my heart existed. But it did. So the $25 I spent on admission and the $10 I spent on the book I had Larry Correia sign turned out to be very well worth it. It was also worth my aching feet and sore shoulders.
Meeting Larry Correia was a real delight. He chatted with me about the series and the particular book I was buying. He signed my book and personalized it, even waiting to hear how my name was spelled so he didn’t get it wrong. As we waited for someone to come over and collect my money for the book I sheepishly pulled my artwork out of my bag and gave it to him. Telling him I thought he would at least find it amusing. He announced that it was cute and suited the particular novel I was buying. He made sure that I had signed it (I had) and commented that he would have to keep it safe (sadly I didn’t have money to spring for a frame for it, so it was simply in a plastic sleeve). I pointed out there was an additional sketch that didn’t go anywhere on the back (this happens a lot, since I don’t like to waste paper) and he thanked me again. As I walked away I heard him bragging to (presumably) another author about how he gets fanart. It made me very happy to know that the art had brought him some enjoyment. That’s what I hope to accomplish with my work at the end of the day. So it was good to see that that particular piece had fulfilled its destiny. The piece in question can be viewed here. When I told my husband about the reception of my artwork, he said he would have loved to had been there and heard it himself. He also would have loved to talk to Larry. Perhaps he’ll get the chance in November.
I admit that I’m regretful I didn’t stay and talk to him more. If I had had more presence of mind I would have talked to him about how I intend to take his advice and start working on my novel (and other writings) more regularly. I would have talked to him about what I loved so much about Monster Hunter International and how it pains me I don’t just have the money lying around to buy them all right now. And I would have thanked him for easing that burden on my heart and being the first author to sign a book for me.