Going into RobinsonFest 2016, I had two fears. The first was that, given my recent personal challenges, I wouldn’t feel up to being social; that people would feel they’d wasted their money to hang out with a mopey, boring dude. The second was that the magic that was the first RobinsonFest wouldn’t be repeatable, and again, people wouldn’t have a good time.
It’s now been two days since RobinsonFest ended, and I can pretty confidently say that both of my fears were unfounded. While I’m still afraid I didn’t get to really connect with everyone who attended, I think everyone had a great time, and the magic that was the inaugural RobinsonFest returned in full force, despite the screwballs thrown our way by the weather.
RobinsonFest isn’t a sterile event where the author is held at a distance, exchanging platitudes and small talk. In addition to the ridiculous child-like fun, we also openly talked about our lives, the good and the bad, and how we’re coping. As a result, I now have a large number of new friends, and deeper relationships with those who attended last year. Given my mental state for the last few months, I was extremely grateful for this.
Okay, enough with the blathering! Here’s a breakdown of the event, and gobs of photos (in a randomly ordered gallery below).
I learned something over the past weekend. The success of an event like RobinsonFest doesn’t hinge on all my planning and machinations. It has everything to do with the people attending. And in the case of RobinsonFest, the folks who attended made this one of the most memorable events of my life. As the group filtered together on the first night and headed out to a meal that was simultaneously described as “food art” and “roadkill on a chalkboard” this band of people didn’t feel like strangers from the far reaches of the globe (Australia, England, Seattle, Florida, Michigan, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania), they felt like old friends. We visited sites featured in the Project Nemesis books, Kronos, Antarktos Rising, SecondWorld, Xom-B, and The Last Hunter, stormed a slew of restaurants, held two author panels at Barnes & Noble, and took a harbor cruise to an island populated by killer seagulls…but no BFSs.
But again, none of that compares to the people, who made every moment fun, who kept me smiling so much my cheeks hurt at the end of the day, and who brought this severe introvert out of his cloistered author shell. Below is a collection of photos from the weekend, including brief descriptions. I’d like to invite all the RobinsonFest attendees to post their favorite moments in the comments section. Let’s make everyone green with envy and hope they join us next time…and there WILL be a next time! Huge thanks to everyone who came. The first RobinsonFest far exceeded my expectations, and that had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with all of you.
It’s no secret, I don’t go to many events. I don’t have book tours, and I only host a few book signings in New Hampshire every year. Over the past few years, I’ve received an increasing number of requests for signed books and book signings around the country. But with my workload, three kids and local commitments, these things aren’t currently possible for me. Thus, we’ve come up with a solution: Robinsonfest, giving you hardcore fans the opportunity to get those books signed, score some freebies, hang out with me (and a few of my co-authors) and visit a bunch of the locations featured in my books. Details below!