Rougarous in Columbus!

So, I’ve been in Columbus, Ohio, for a couple days now and Ohioans, you people know how to party!

My first night in town I was part of the Indianola Stroll, a community business/art walk on Indianola Avenue. I hung out at the offices of Columbus Creative Cooperative, a writers resource business, where I met folks coming by and chatted about writing. Later, I did a Q&A about Hagridden and my experience with my agent and with Columbus Press.

A community member chats with my publisher.
A community member chats with my publisher.
The book table display.
The book table display.

We also set out props from our upcoming Rougarou: Journey to the End of the Night event:

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Rougarou masks and hands!

Yesterday, at the Bexley Public Library, I held a small workshop on writing fiction, in which I talked about creating a broad, connective fictional universe and how to beat writer’s block:

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Workshop selfie!
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The group was small, which made for great conversation with each person in the room, and the writers asked great questions!

After the workshop,  we spent the day setting up for the rougarou chase.

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The Columbus Press interns rode to the site with the cage — dressed as rougarous, of course!
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And I had to get in on the fun, too.

The JEN event was huge. Long before we were set to begin, people had begun turning up in the dozens upon dozens!

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Those people called other people, or shared the news on Tumblr and Reddit, or just wandered by and got swept in by the excitement! By the time we’d gotten set up and ready to start, we had something like 150 people!

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Crowd selfie!
Crowd selfie!

Meanwhile, we had the rougarou locked safely in a cage nearby:

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Giving everyone directions for the chase/scavenger hunt went smoothly enough…
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But then the rougarou bit my publisher and broke loose from the cage — and the race was on!

I’m old and slow, so I passed on the chase and headed straight for the afterparty, where we had special drinks based on Hagridden.

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I tried all four drinks — I even made up a story for the order I drank them in: I started in the bayou, where I received a wolf bite, suffered a dark and stormy night, and ended up a rougarou!

Meanwhile, we were setting up for the after-race party, complete with the repaired rougarou cage, the tshirt company Outfit Good on hand to screenprint brand new rougarou tshirts, and my book display near the bar:

We had a lot of people who made it through the race still human, but many, many more got turned into rougarous along the route. Everyone seemed to have a great time, though, and I met a lot of great people and signed a lot of books. And otherwise we all just hung out, drank drinks, talked about the race or the novel, watched a werewolf movie, and finally, in the theater, gave away prizes!

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