Over the past decade, I have been to many, many conventions, and I have discovered that none of them are like any of the others. Each one is a unique gem with different facets, and unique members of a staff that struggles for 72 hours straight to tame the unwieldy beast. I’ve been disappointed by smaller conventions and simply amazed by others, feeling when I’d left that I’d be leaving part of a new family behind.

Mysticon is one of the latter.

It started out a little shaky, driving in through the overbright rainbow mist (did Mysticon order that in especially?) coupled with the kind of winds that drop houses on people. Sherri’s plane was delayed and delayed and delayed, leaving me to wander the slowly waking con in my heavy coat and rolley red suitcase full of books. I spent a lot of time perched on the comfy sofas in front of the lobby fireplace, playing Words With Friends and waiting.

The time for my signing rolled around, which ended up being scheduled against Opening Ceremonies. No one bought a single thing. Only two people stopped by to talk: my friend Linda who lamented that she hadn’t brought her Dark-Hunter Companion, and Gray Rinehart.

Gray is another Codexian, and a friend with whom I never get to spend enough quality time. He rescued me from the lonely table and swept me off to feed me. Gray is one of those Knight in Shining Armor kind of people  I’m never sure how I live without.

“Sherri’s still not here,” I said, noce I’d had a few bited of dinner and achieved coherency. “I think I should take over her panels.”

“You have to take over her panels,” said Gray. “You’re the only one who can.”

I am not Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have never pretended to be Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’m just some second banana girl few people have ever heard of. And yet…when the time came to step up t the plate, I cast aside all that self-doubt and walked in those Author Goddess footsteps, come what may.

I’d be damned if I was going to let a passel of true blue Dark-Hunter fans sit sad and alone, staring at an empty table in the front of the room.

I walked through the door and saw them all there, and my heart broke a little. “Y’all are waiting on Sherri, right?” I said. “Well, let’s talk Dark-Hunters.” So we did. For an entire hour. And almost another entire hour after that.

I have to say, I have never laughed so hard on panels at a convention in my entire life. By the time Sherri actually did show up, there were so many inside jokes floating around, I’m not sure she ever caught up. (“Milady.”) But I milked every joke and made a complete fool of myself, and we all had an incredibly fantastic time.

Thank you to all my new Dark-Hunter friends, far and wide, who put up with me through all those panels and kept an open mind and played along with the joke. Thank you for bringing your children to my reading by the fireplace. Thank you for buying the books that I brought when the Great Goddess Carla found me a table at which to park my tucus. Thank you to Kalayna and Faith and Marcia and Andy and all my fellow panelists. Thank you to Tina and Carla and Mysticon overall. Thank you to Sherri and Kim for finally arriving and setting us all at ease. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone — except the jerkface who set off the fire alarm at 2am Sunday morning and made me walk up and down 5 flights of stairs a couple of times.

Thank you all, a million times, thank you. I’d be happy to come back next year. Mostly because I didn’t take enough pictures this time around. This was my very last convention without having a novel in print, and thanks to all of you, I will never forget it.


My name is not Sherrilyn Kenyon, and I approve this message.