Regarding My Summer Schedule

There haven’t been any formal announcements about my Summer convention schedule except for the Phoenix Comicon, where I have emeritus status as a guest — 😉 — but at present, I will be in full-on Awesomeist mode at: The Phoenix Comicon (where I’ll have panels and a booth where I’ll be selling, signing, and sketching); Comicon International (San Diego to us old school creators) where I’ll be sharing a booth and doing signings to be announced; and the Salt Lake Comicon (where we’ll be doing some WICKED COOL STUFF, which you’ll hear about when the formal announcements are made).

I’ve also been invited to participate in BOTH the Westercon and Fantasy-Con, being held concurrently in Utah over the 4th of July weekend — and as good an opportunity as both will be, especially with friends (hey, David!) and working with some fine colleagues like Peter Wacks and Kevin J. Anderson on (WE HAVEN’T ANNOUNCED IT YET, BUT WILL SHORTLY, AND IT’S AWESOME) I’m afraid I need to decline going for either of them.

My first concern was that with the three shows I already have planned, and the beginning of a speaking tour, I also need to take into account 1) getting the work done I already have on my plate, without 2) turning around the recent improvements in my health and lifestyle by OVERworking. The temptation to go “onstage” so to speak, and to sell a lot of books and prints is nearly overwhelming, and I will LOVE being there once I got there and my adrenaline rises… But. There’s a bigger reason I can’t go.

Here in Silvertown (Taylor/Snowflake), the 4th of July is a HUGE event. Huge. As in, central to the community’s YEAR. And I was raised at ground zero. Starting at 4am, with the firing of the anvil, and the parade around town that EVERYONE takes part in, to the BBQ across from my mother’s house, to the events that get rolling and don’t stop until late at night, after fireworks and the rodeo. It’s a big deal to my kids, especially the early-morning parts, and I don’t want to miss it, because honestly speaking, I have my daughter here for only four more of these holidays until she goes to college. And only eight more for my son.

A few years ago, I was booked to do a teen book festival in Austin over Halloween. At the time, the future was endless, and it didn’t seem like that big a deal — after all, my publisher wanted it, and we had books to sell. And we did. And I can still sell books — but I’ll never get that Halloween back, with my kids excited to be out Trick-or-Treating. And I regret it. Maybe more now than I did then.

So, that’s why instead of going to Westercon and Fantasy-Con with my pals and selling us some books, I’m going to be getting up at 4am to fill water balloons with my kids, eat Navajo Tacos on my mother’s lawn, and watch fireworks that someday soon, my kids won’t be there to watch.

I think that’s a no-brainer choice. 🙂

About caveo

James has written and illustrated six books in the bestselling series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica: Here, There Be Dragons; The Search For The Red Dragon; The Indigo King; The Shadow Dragons; The Dragon’s Apprentice; and The Dragons of Winter. The series is now being published in more than twenty languages. A seventh volume, The First Dragon, will conclude the series in November 2013.

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