Sandworms of Dune

Friday, May 25, 2007



Keycon007 -- Winnipeg

Last weekend Rebecca and I were both guests of honor at Keycon, a science fiction convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Over 500 attendees came to see us, as well as the other guests of honor, artist LA Williams and actor Richard Herd.

This was my first time to Canada since a BUTLERIAN JIHAD book signing in Vancouver with Brian Herbert. Rebecca and I very much enjoyed the hospitality of the con staff as well as the enthusiasm of the fans. I gave out about five hundred of the SANDWORMS post-it notepads and autographed a lot of books.

Rebecca and I each gave a brief talk at opening ceremonies, then we dished out ice cream for all the convention attendees, after which we went back to the room for a quick change into formals (a tux for me, a gown for Rebecca) to attend the black-tie wine and cheese reception for the guests, con staff, and fans who had signed up.

The next day, Rebecca and I each did a reading of a new short story, then we gave a two-hour talk on "Things I Wish Some Pro Had Told Me When I Was Just Starting out." We signed autographs in the afternoon, then judged the masquerade on Saturday evening. Sunday morning I gave a solo panel on the new DUNE novels. It was very well attended, including a fan from Australia who had changed her travel plans in Canada to see the panel. Sunday afternoon we each had a Tarot reading from a woman working in the dealer' room; it was my first one, and I found it very interesting. After closing ceremonies on Sunday evening we went to the "dead dog" parties, then to bed for our early flight home.

In between panels we had some time to explore Winnipeg. I took a couple of long walks down to the Red River and a junction called the Forks, where I found the river path to be a great place to walk and dictate some of the last chapters in Seven Suns #7 (I should finish the first draft manuscript in the next week.) We also enjoyed several excellent restaurants, a nice steak house, a wonderful British pub, a delicious Thai restaurant with the con staff, and a truly spectacular Indian restaurant with LA Williams and his wife Vicki.

This week I've been finishing some of the wrap-up chapters in THE ASHES OF WORLDS, and I signed and sent off 2000 SANDWORMS signature sheets. For the past few days our friend, well-known marine and space artist Michael David Ward, came to visit us. (I wrote the introduction to Mike's forthcoming art book, and we have one of his original paintings hanging in our front hall.)

Next week looks a little calmer.

-- KJA


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