Chaos Attraction

An Evening With Seanan McGuire

2016-03-04, 8:36 p.m.

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Continued from Part 1:

Last night I saw that Seanan McGuire, my favorite author, was doing a last-minute book signing in Concord at a store I go to. Friday from 4-6. Normally she seems to only do signings at Borderlands in SF (a store I got to go in once for five minutes), on a weeknight. HELL YES I WAS GOING TO GO TO THAT.

The drive over there was pretty weird. It ranged from totally dry to so wet I could barely see to drive in daylight. At one point while I was still in town it went from being bone dry to pouring in about 20 minutes and suddenly giant puddles were forming--you know those kind that usually form in about two days of storming? Yeah, between the time I went into my house to download financial crap for the union and went out again, the streets were filled with huge puddles and it was terrifying. Between that and the headlight issue, I was wondering if I should just drive back early.

Nope, didn't do that.

Given the short notice, not a whole lot of people showed up--I think I might have been first in line there. I was feeling kinda shy, but she loved my colorful shirt and I loved her sunset-colored hair that went with my shirt. Anyway, after the folks in line got done it turned into Chatty Hangout Time, which was super delightful. I suspect her usual signings don't go like that, but it was hella fun hearing all of the weird things she has to talk about. She knows a lot of crazy animal stories, such as:

(a) The attack owl that lives in her backyard. It's still there and attacking, which should be great for house selling.
(b) If you tell people that you're an author, they will let you pretty much do whatever you want, like milk a snake. (She has studied herpetology and used to do reptile rescue, which reminds me to have you guys read this insanely delightful story.)
(c) She also was gifted with a tapeworm pill, which she of course swallowed (disclaimer: she's written a book series on tapeworms) and named Timmy. A couple of months. later her doctor wasn't happy and her girlfriend had complaints about surprise threesomes.
(d) When she goes on vacation, she'll go around catching poisonous amphibians that damage the environment. Like for example roaming around a golf course (I think?) at midnight in Hawaii collecting cane toads for the mulcher. Cane toads pee on you a lot, apparently. Also, they will stop peeing on you if you roll them over and rub their tummy...which sounds adorable except that they are going into a mulcher.

(e) While in Florida, a groundskeeper saw her collecting frogs. The next day she got approached by someone at the hotel about it....they spotted a suspicious yellow frog. Which turned out to be poisonous and got part of the hotel shut down.
(f) Koalas are evil and can pee chalamydia on you.
(g) Australian rabbits have eaten (and survived) enough poisonous plants that they will now poison anyone who tries to eat them.
(h) Echidna are weird.
(i) I asked about the drastically different dimorphic creatures she puts into the InCryptid series (dragons, snakes, sharks, laidly worms, etc.) and basically, how do they get it on? She pointed out that there are weirdly dimorphic creatures in nature such as anglerfish, lizards and squids, and you shouldn't think of it so much as our usual method of getting it on and more like "sperm harpoon."

In other news, she mentioned finding out that Fiona Patton's godfather was Vincent Price and he used to buy out carnivals and take her to them, and she was all, "That's my sexual fantasy." And that when a Canadian author friend of hers (Amal) married a Scottish dude--both countries have excellent health care--Canada got all suspicious that it was some kind of health green card marriage.

For the aspiring writers out there, she said to write for traditional publishing (you can self-publish later if you like) and try to get interest. She rewrote the first Toby book for years before she got that published.

She mentioned that Brian Michael Bendis is her nemesis because he keeps getting jobs right ahead of her lately. I won't mention some stuff that she mentioned because I don't think that's public announcement material, but let's just say that I thought it sounded like good future news involving a company and writers I like I like if that goes down. In the meantime, I totally think she should have her own TV show--something like "Seanan's Science Corner" covering some weird animal of the week. That would be a delight and a joy.

I asked her personally: is fame worth it? She said yes and no, which is kinda what I figured it would be. She mentioned a lot of amazing amounts of harassment she gets--but some do people come up to you and say you gave them a reason to live.

Oh yeah, and at one point I mentioned the dental surgery and she asked eagerly if I knew if they were getting the bone from corpses. I was all, "I'm not asking, don't think I want to know" and she was all, "yeah, me too, I do sedation dentistry." Hah, I wish.

Anyway, that experience pretty much made my weekend right there and perked me up after all of the current drama that is going on. I finally got to meet her before she moves! Yay! I'm debating attempting to go to her usual book signing one time--there is one going on on a Saturday in SF the day before my birthday....we'll see.


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