Tag: robinsonfest (page 1 of 2)

RobinsonFest 2018 Wrap-Up

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20180817_101606Every year as I reflect on RobinsonFest, I wonder if the next year could possibly be as fun as the previous. And now, a few days post-event, I find myself pondering the same thing. It was a smaller group this year, but that did nothing to diminish the good times, tasty food, adventurous outings, or quality time with the world’s best fans. If anything, it let me connect a bit deeper with people, and really gave me time to get to know our newcomers, who I now look forward to seeing every year.

20180817_120806This year, I said goodbye to my fans-turned-friends, the RobinsonFesters…wait, do we still not have a better name than that?! Because, eww. Anywho, after saying goodbye, what I feel most this year is pride. Not in the event itself, or the places we visit, or the food we eat, or what a dashingly handsome host I am. What I’m most proud of is the people who attend. Our regular attendees are always welcoming, loving, and generous to newcomers, and the result is that new folks, who might feel awkward and far out of their comfort-zone, are made to feel at home on the very first night…if not within minutes.

39507009_10160869390165360_206455182383382528_oWhen hosting an intimately-sized group of strangers, there is a lot that could go wrong, but from the very first RobinsonFest, there has been a camaraderie that has little to do with a mutual love for my books, and everything to do with the kind of people who attend. My novels might be what brings people to RobinsonFest, but it’s the people who make it special.

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RobinsonFest 2017 – Wrap-Up and Photo Gallery

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When I was a kid, my parents took our family to spend a long weekend at a kid’s campground before the season kicked off. I had attended the camp the year before and had memories of games, hikes, pranks and new friends. While the picturesque campground looked the same, it felt wrong. The people—the real heart and soul of that place—were missing. I spent those days feeling detached and longing for absent friends.

In the wake of RobinsonFest, I feel a similar sense of something missing. As I visit Portsmouth and the surrounding area, some instinctual part of my brain says, “Go to the hotel and see everyone!” Then the conscious part of my brain realizes that’s not possible, that if I went to the amazing Homewood Suites, the place would feel like an empty, soulless husk. I have never walked through those doors and not been greeted by a smile and a hug. It’s odd to feel that kind of an attachment to a hotel, but after this year’s RobinsonFest, I think stopping by the hotel would feel a lot like that bittersweet campground visit.

DSC_0263That is the quality and intensity of the relationships forged at RobinsonFest. Writing that feels like an exaggeration, and I imagine a lot of people reading this will think I’m simply promoting the event, but I think everyone who attended will agree.

While we visited some amazing places (the Mount Washington cruise and Franconia Notch Echo Lake), participated in some fun activities (Hilltop Fun Center and Butternut Farm) those events weren’t the weekend’s highlight. The people were. The closest comparison is a family reunion. While many people have attended multiple years, and they keep in touch throughout the year, new attendees are welcomed with open arms (literally) and are made part of the family.

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RobinsonFest Bonuses!

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Just a quick note to let you know that we’ve decided to sweeten the RobinsonFest pot and create Kickstarter-style stretch goals for registration. There are four tiers and reaching each one unlocks a new prize, which will be decided by raffle during RobinsonFest. What could possibly sweeten the pot further than hanging out with the likes of five bestselling authors? Free stuff, of course! But not just free stuff, super rare free stuff! See below for details!

Domo arigato, Mr. Translato (20 sign-ups):
This prize includes an international collection of Robinson novels translated into other languages from four different countries. They include ISLAND 731 in Japanese, INSTINCT in German, XOM-B in German, ANTARKTOS RISING in Russian, and PROJECT NEMESIS in Chinese. These books are either impossible, or incredibly hard to get. And to my knowledge, no one on the planet has signed copies of them, which they will be.

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ROBINSONFEST – AUTUMN OF DESTRUCTION – Post Event Wrap-up

 

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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).

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ROBINSONFEST 2015 – THE EPIC EVENT OF APOCALYPTIC PROPORTIONS

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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.

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