Now, that isn't to say I consciously avoided him--I'm playing on the ambiguity of language. I simply made choices that inadvertently led me out of his roundhouse radius.
If you're looking at the seating plan for the dealer room right now (which I know you are [geek]), you might find it impossible for me to have avoided Jonathan Maberry, as he sat about three chairs down from me, right on the other side of Z.A. Recht. But unless you're also watching the security footage from that weekend, you're missing the fact that I rarely stayed at my table. I didn't need to: I just signed a stack of books and left them for free, so I could go chase a bromance with Permuted Press's Jacob Kier.
Timely Brody Jenner references aside, I missed Maberry's reading of PATIENT ZERO, his first Joe Ledger novel. Jacob and I were probably enjoying a candlelit, uh... game of Settlers of Katan.
(By the way, I'm so late to the "Blog About Horror Realm" game that Maberry's second Joe Ledger novel, DRAGON FACTORY, already has cover art. And an ordering link.)
Despite my best efforts to make poor choices, I did briefly encounter the formidable Jonathan Maberry--and he didn't even karate-chop me.
It happened in the recess of a locked dealer-room door. Jonathan and I both took refuge there to avoid being trod upon by the J.L. Bourne troop. Fate pushed us together at the threshold, like two perfect strangers taking cover from the rain. Jacob would have been so jealous.
Jonathan came onto me immediately: he said, "I thought you'd be older."
And that was pretty much the end of it. I crawled back to Jacob for the security--and for the kids (that's what we call Permuted authors). Things have been the same ever since.
So, Jonathan, if you're reading this, we could have been so much more.