Personal Connections
#1
Over on the "collecting Norton" thread, Jay started a fascinating discussion about acquiring Norton titles, admitting he was unlikely to ever wind up with _Murders For Sale_ and settling for _Sneeze On Sunday_.

Jay, about "Sneeze On Sunday", I'd rather have that edition than the earlier one anyway.  That edition has the skeleton on the cover, and cover art by Ron Walotsky, which won Best In Show at the 1992 World Fantasy Convention.  We later met Ron Walotsky and admired his artwork for the rest of his life.  Best of all, that was the year Irene & I first became acquainted, and that was the con where we had the grandest slumber party ever, eating lots of good barbecue, talking far into the night, and coming away with Quasimodo's hump of free books.

That's one of my personal connections with a Norton title.

What about everyone else?  Any fun stories to share?

Jerrie
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#2
I'm pretty sure that Jerrie and I met before 1992, else I wouldn't have asked to go with me to the convention. (With my evil intent to get a ride from Atlanta to the middle of nowhere (Callaway Gardens, GA). We probably met at Oasis (4,5 or 6) in Orlando FL.

BUT, the rest is all true. We stayed up late, ate well, and though I was limited to what I could bring back on a plane, Jerrie collected every single free book that was being given away. I remember having them all in the living room of her home. Staring out at "all of those books" and feeling like a dragon sitting on it's hoard.... OK Jerrie's hoard.
Andre Norton was there, and Anne McCaffrey. So I probably had my carry-on bag stuffed with books for signing.

Oh. not to gloat but, I eventually bought MURDERS FOR SALE from a Mystery book seller's catalogue. I phoned from a pay phone that day. I still remember that the first 2 times the call went through the person on the other end couldn't hear me, and by the time that the operator put the call through, and confirmed a clear line, he was kind of mad.

I've stopped collecting the new editions of Andre Norton's books. A new book? Please let me know, I'll want that.
Irene
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#3
It was at Oasis in June of '92, only the second con we'd ever gone to.  My lawyerspouse was along as the ride.  We all hit it off so well, Irene wrote me a letter offering to share a room.  "I'll even share a room with a lawyer.  Does he snore?"  We were newlyweds, with [his] law school loans to pay off, so I certainly wasn't affording Callaway.  Irene offered to cover the full room in return for rides and repartee.  It was truly a fantasy con.  Everyone deserves one, and that was mine.

Nor does the story [quite] end there.  Fast forward a decade or two, and a retired veteran filker grandmother friend had lots of student loans and a car.  I had an entirely reasonable horror of the Dallas airport, especially the unlabeled roads around it.  So I got to pay it forward, with her picking me up and driving to dinner, etc.  She had a shorter drive, but also brought me [coolers of wonderful] food.  The guest at that Fencon was Lois McMaster Bujold, whom I got my friend dinner with, so that was a fair bargain.  

Lois Bujold, Andre Norton, two brilliant ladies rocking the quiet dignity thing, so that's another connection, right?

Jerrie
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#4
I don't remember meeting any of the cover artists for any of Andre's books. I met Andre at WFC 1992. I don't remember if that is where I first met you, Irene, or if it was at Magic Carpet Con. I met Clara Miller at WFC '92 as she was handing out flyers (fliers?) for MCC I.

Tom Dietz got me into the "secret" party that night and I spent about 30 minutes talking with Tom Doherty (and another 15-20 with Patrick Nielsen Hayden). They encouraged me to keep trying to break into the fiction market (I guess and all the other publishers and editors would say that to anyone). I also spent a couple of hours talking with Jack L. Chalker in the hotel snack bar. That was a lot of fun.

I met Pauline Griffin at MCC. I don't recall meeting her at WFC. I always enjoyed spending time with her at conventions, though. Very fascinating lady and my favorite Andre collaborator. She had a style and sense of story very close to Andre's, in my opinion.
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#5
I still go to World Science Fiction, and Boskone (Boston, MA) in person or virtual. I try to go to other conventions if one of my favorite authors will be there.

It has been said that these conventions are meet-ups for you and (200, 1000, 5000) of your best friends.

So, over the years I have carried books to many places. I have calculated the space in my favorite black shoulder bag as room for 9-hard cover books, 1 day change of clothing etc. This from several trips to FL or TN to visit with Andre Norton. [With a weekend, I could leave my auto at the airport, catch a plane, 24 hour rental on a car, drive to Murfreesboro, visit with Andre, overnight, another short visit with Andre and back to the airport for my flight home.]

PS: Jerrie - I still feel that I got the better part of that GA trip. Renting a car to drive there would have been interesting. I had to pay for the hotel space anyway. Why not bring a friend?

PPS: Always bring blank paper to a signing session. Phyllis Miller was at a Andre Norton signing in Boston [NorEasCon), and I had nothing for her to sign. [i had been in the room for 2 hours waiting.]
Irene
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