Michael Darling

Nine Reasons I Enjoyed FanX

Where Authors Meet Fans – and Authors

The Spring Comic Con Convention in Salt Lake City is called “FanX,” which is short for “Fan eXperience.” The organizers limit attendance to about 55,000 fans, which is a far smaller group than the Autumn Comic Con, which is reportedly the second-largest convention of its kind in the United States. I have attended FanX previously, but I’ve usually been manning the Future House booth. This year, I was only scheduled for a one-hour book signing session so I took advantage of my freedom to actually walk the floor and see what else those tens-of-thousands of people were doing. Mostly, I visited with other authors and those are most of the reasons I enjoyed the convention.

I’ve included the authors whom I mingled with at the convention, whom I’ve bought from recently and read, and who I think are worth the price of a FanX ticket so that you can buy their books too. There’s also a bonus reason I enjoyed FanX at the end. Here are the authors, in alphabetical order.

1. Courtney Alameda

I sat next to Courtney during my book signing. Her novel Shutter caught my eye. It was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal. Fans of horror thrillers will find her work irresistable. Visit Courtney at courtneyalameda.com

2. D.J. Butler

D.J. “Dave” Butler is one of the rare writers who can pen adventure stories for kids and adults and both are incredible. The Kidnap Plot (The Extraordinary Journeys of Clockwork Charlie) is a winning steampunk Middle Grade book and Witchy Eye, which I just started, posits an intriguing alternate America shaped by Appalachian folk magic. Visit Dave at davidjohnbutler.com

3. J Scott Savage

J Scott Savage is the author of seventeen published novels including the Farworld series from Shadow Mountain, the Case File 13 series from Harper Collins, and the Mysteries of Cove series. I’ve read the Mysteries of Cove and it’s a terrific Middle Grade series featuring steampunk dragons. Visit Scott at jscottsavage.com

4. Kathryn Purdie

Kathryn was another author I sat by at the book signing. Her Young Adult fantasy novel Burning Glass was a #1 New York Times bestseller and delivers a romantic story about a girl forced to use her gift for sensing—and absorbing—other people’s feelings to protect an empire from assassins. Her work is “dark, intricate, and utterly immersive.” Visit Kathryn at kathrynpurdie.com

5. M Todd Gallowglas

M Todd Gallowglas is a professional storyteller (like on a stage with a show in front of real people) and the bestselling author of the Tears of Rage and Halloween Jack series. I purchased the Single Steps collection which includes stories from many of his projects and they’re utterly enchanting. If you ever have a chance to see his live storytelling show, don’t miss it. Visit Todd at mtoddgallowglas.com

6. Michaelbrent Collings

Michaelbrent is an internationally bestselling novelist, produced screenwriter, and member of both the Writers Guild of America and the International Thriller Writers. He has been working with words for over two decades, and for the last ten years has provided writing assistance to more people than he can remember. I’ve read loads of Michaelbrent’s books and they invariably leave me feeling ill-at-ease in all the best ways. Visit Michaelbrent at writteninsomnia.com

7. Shelly Brown

Shelly and I are both published by Future House and it was great to bump into her at the Shadow Mountain booth where she also had a book signing. Her Middle Grade book Ghostsitter is a fun, frightening adventure about a girl with the gift of “ghost-seeing.” To find out more about Shelly Click Here

8. Author Friends

There are a host of authors whom I ran into at FanX. They are often there to sign books, speak on panels, or man their publisher’s booths. They are gifted storytellers and it was great to connect with them again at the convention. Click on their names to find out more about them. Shout outs to Adrienne Monson, Candace Thomas, Christine Haggerty, Jay BarnsonJen Greyson, Jessica Parker, John M. Olson, Johnny Worthen, M.K. HutchinsMike Glassford, Paul Genesse, and Scott Tarbet. It was so good to see you!

9. Massive Convention – Time to Write!

There were tons of people in cosplay, including a number of characters I recognized as friends, with varying lengths of time for me to realize who they were. And a whole lot of artists who do amazing work and would look fantastic on the cover of a book. These talented folks would be worthy of their own blog post. In between all the walking and admiring, and signing books, and stalking authors, I found a few opportunities to get some writing done. My final favorite thing at FanX 2017. (Thanks to Mike Glassford, the masculine jawline in the lower-right photo.)