Colleen Houck


“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • San Diego Comic Con 2015 Report

    July 21, 2015


    So it has long been a dream of mine to attend San Diego Comic Con and that dream was finally realized this year when my generous publisher chose me as one of the few authors they invited to be a part of the 2015 team.

    Colleen Houck SDCC15

    Here’s how my Comic Con experience went…

    July 9th-Thursday (Miles walked 7)

    We flew in to San Diego and weren’t able to check in until 5:30 or so. Because of that, we left our luggage at the hotel, picked up a Land of the traveler map, and made our way to the conference to register. We were told it was a ten minute walk to the convention center from our hotel. It was over an hour before we finally found the right place to pick up our badges. Mostly we just walked the convention and looked for the Random House booth where I’d sign on Saturday. There are a lot of cool things to see. Here are some. (Giant Iron Man, Hobbit Dwarf, Walking Dead Zombie)

    Iron Man at SDCC15The Hobbit Dwarf CosplayWalking Dead Display

    san diego photo booth rentals 858-375-4111 (19)-MRandom House Party HaulWe got a text that our room was ready so we headed back, unpacked, and then were off to a local library for the Random House Author party. I was able to cart off as many books as I could carry as well as meet other Random House authors. There was also a photo booth where we could take pictures with staff. I hopped in there with my husband to take some fun pictures.

    Colleen Houck & Kim Liggett

    Colleen Houck & Kim Liggett

    Colleen Houck & Diana Gabaldon

    Colleen Houck & Diana Gabaldon

    Colleen Houck & Sabaa Tahir

    Colleen Houck & Sabaa Tahir

    Colleen Houck & Renee Ahdieh

    Colleen Houck & Renee Ahdieh


    Random House Book Giveaways

    July 10th-Friday (Miles walked 5)

    Despite the protesting of my feet, we headed back to the convention center on Friday even though it was technically my off day. I was searching for a Dr. Who shirt and we really wanted to try to get into Hall H to see the cast of The Walking Dead. We quickly figured out that I had no VIP status and trying to get into a panel a mere two hours early showed what kind of amateurs we were. My husband had a disability sticker since he’s Deaf and though he scheduled an interpreter to go, there was still no getting in.

    Turns out people camp out overnight just to get a bracelet so they can be first in line and even if the panel they want to see is later in the day, they will park themselves in the room all day just so they have a guaranteed spot for the one they want. Not an effective way to organize things if you ask me. Any type of event that requires me to spend hours of waiting in line without a bathroom break is just not my cup of tea. We stuck around in line until the panel actually started and then came to the conclusion that we would have a better seat at home watching it on YouTube.

    There were lines stretching everywhere and when I asked what the lines were for it was either for some Anime thing I’ve never heard of or for Mattel, Lego, BBC, etc. The short of it is, if you want to buy something cute and fun you still have to wait in line and get pushed and shoved by various overenthusiastic people as you do so. Personally, I’d much rather buy things online. We still saw some cool stuff and we did get my husband a Star Trek shirt and me a set of Star Trek cookie cutters. The women’s shirts (I hate crew neck men’s shirts) only went up to size XL which as we know really means small so I didn’t get a shirt at all though I did consider a men’s Labyrinth shirt. (What man is going to wear that?)

    Here are some cool things we saw. (Lego Dr. Who, Life-Sized R2-D2, Yoda, Giant Lego Hulk and Iron Man, Thor and Loki Replicas)

    Lego Dr. WhoR2-D2YodaGiant Lego Hulk vs Iron ManLoki and Thor

    The weirdest thing to me about the conference is that there’s really not much to do other than waiting in lines. Most of the panels were very comic booky. I sat in one that was like the silver age of comic book font. Wow. Not something that would rivet the layman.

    Also, there is so much more shopping to do at the smaller conferences. I suspect the big guys make deals that the smaller vendors can’t sell their product at this one.  Between that and the T-shirt problem, I wasn’t a happy buyer.

    Also there was a strange lack of food options. In a convention center this size, I’d expect more than Mrs. Fields. I lived on soft pretzels at the convention since there weren’t really any other options. Most people seemed to be wandering around outside. They were probably looking for food or a place to sit down or maybe a private place to adjust their super underoos. Speaking of which…

    Holy Moly people! On the one hand, I think Cosplay is fun.

    It’s cool to dress up in a costume you worked all year on and parade around in front of strangers who ooh and ahh at your sewing/glue gunning prowess while sweat trickles down your body in all the wrong places and you get a cramp in your wrist from wielding your club/broadsword/ax/Battleth/staff/lightsaber/bow.

    I mean, it’s pretty amazing when you think about applying and reapplying makeup all day as your sweltering cape/leather leggings slowly bake you from the outside in while constantly adjusting your wig, or, in some cases, thong.

    At least it gives the people in line and second string reporters who can’t get into any of the cool things something to do/gape at as they wait endlessly for someone to save them from the bad decision they made to attend the event/store making them stand in line for hours. And they can take a picture with you which proves they were there since the opportunity to take pictures with any real celebrities doesn’t happen, at least not with anyone famous within the last two decades.

    Having said that, could you at least cover your protruding parts? Seriously, there are children at the convention. Wow. I looked up at the second floor window and was treated to a full naked backside from a level down and let’s just say the view wasn’t pretty. I’m assuming there was a scrap of fabric in there somewhere but honestly there are some things you can’t unsee.

    I looked up the cosplay policy and there isn’t a ban of any kind on clothing, just on weapons. Perhaps the players go just a wee bit far. There are some things better left to the imagination or, at least, until the sun sets and the glare doesn’t burn the corneas of the hundred thousand plus attendees.

    I don’t have any pictures of the cosplay people because I feel a bit like taking a picture with them or of them is akin to feeding bears in the wild. It’s just a bad idea and encourages them to come closer and engage in behaviors I’d rather not see. Sure the little ones are cute but the little ones get bigger. 😉 Sigh. It’s always a few people who have to go and ruin it. It’s like dress down Friday. Someone always takes it too far and gets everyone in trouble.

    We were invited out to dinner Friday night with other authors and Random House staff and had a great time getting to know everyone. We went to Bottega Americano which had great pizza. Not sure why we don’t have any pictures of the group. Thought we took some.

    July 11th-Saturday (Miles walked 4)

    The reason I only walked four miles Saturday instead of five or six is because my feet were pretty raw and swollen. I actually threw away my shoes and bought a new pair while I was there. The hubby wanted to walk but I forced him to take a taxi with me so it would save me a mile or so of walking. 

    Random House Author BoothSaturday was my big signing day. I signed 50 copies of Reawakened in the Random House booth, grabbed another pretzel, and headed up to my panel. If you’d like to see it, you can watch the entire thing on YouTube. Kim Liggett was our moderator and she did a fantastic job. On the panel with me are Rachel Caine, Jenny Martin, Rachel Hartman, & Thomas E. Sniegoski. Oh and the weird thing with my hair in the picture is because I told the stylist I wanted to go Egyptian and he did a faux bang where he look my hair and wrapped it up and gave me bangs. Not a fan of the look. Won’t be doing that one again. 

    Colleen Houck, Brad Houck, and Raffi KryszekAfter the panel we signed books and I was able to give away another 50 copies of Reawakened. I was also able to meet up with my movie producer, Raffi Kryszek, of Ineffable Pictures and got an update on the progress of the film. He is just an awesome guy and hung out with me as I met with fans, asking them what they’d like to see happen in the movie. He called the director, Shekhar Kapur, and we spoke on the phone for the first time. I can’t give you much of an update except to say that the movie is in good hands and we are at the casting phase which is a very exciting time! 

    Colleen Houck, Brad Houck, and Richard HatchWhen the signing was done, we headed over to the section of the conference known as autograph alley, aka, You’re-All-Washed-Up-And-We’re-Going-To-Make-You-Sit-Here-In-A-Pathetic-And-Needy-Way row. This part was not handled well at all. The celebrities have to hang out there for hours, even if nobody wants to talk to them. Salt Lake City Comic Con handles this much better and in a dignified way with a professional photographer. Once the line is gone they can leave. It’s awkward to approach a celebrity and ask them to quote a price for a photo. There were no handlers or staff around to help them out. It felt weird and just wrong. Still we took a photo with the original Apollo from Battlestar Galactica, Richard Hatch, who was a very nice guy.

    July 12th-Sunday (Miles walked 1.5)

    Grimm CastThe coolest thing celebrity-wise that happened for us was the plane ride home. We are big fans of the television show Grimm. It’s actually shot in Portland, OR and the whole cast was headed home from the convention on the same flight we were. My husband is braver than I am so he got up and introduced himself to the actors who were waiting in the terminal with us and then proceeded to paparazzi photo stalk them after that. They were all there, Monroe, Nick, Hank, Wu, Rosalee, and Adalind. They were only missing Captain Renard and Juliette.

    Me & Brad Fly HomeWell, that’s it! Hoped you liked my report. I’m planning on attending the Portland Con in the spring and I would absolutely attend Salt Lake again. Have you gone to any Comic Con conventions you really loved? Let me know about them! 

    This entry was posted in Conferences, Events.

    5 Responses to San Diego Comic Con 2015 Report


    1. Lauren Miller says:

      I know it was awkward for you. It’s the first time going to a major convention like Comic Con. But after a few times of going there it won’t be as awkward. I go to the Monster Mania in NJ Cherry Hill with my husband all the time. The first time I went it was awkward. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable getting price quotes for Photo Op and signing from the actors and actresses. But it’s still a fun experience 🙂

        • Lauren Miller says:

          I’m not surprised that it’s unorganized at Comic Con. So many things going on all at once. And things are a bit wild there. I haven’t been there but I seen the photos from friends. I’m glad that Monster Mania isn’t like that. We get the Walking Dead actors and actresses too but it isn’t that crazy. Sure there’s a long line but it’s not insanely long. And things are much calmer too compared to Comic Con. We don’t get cosplayers looking almost nude and such. That would bother me too because we get a lot of families with kids at Monster Mania.

    2. Rosemary Coley says:

      This was our second year at SDCC and I have to agree, while cool to see it all in person compared to some smaller Cons it is kind of a mess/chaotic. I love some of the cosplayers (that keep it at least PG-13 rated) and Artist Alley. I came home with more art and novels than anything! I am so mad I missed your signing, though I did get a copy of the new book. FYI “Her Universe” has really awesome women’s fandom shirts that go as high up as 5X! They have their own website, but ThinkGeek also carries some cool ones that they don’t have on their site. I bought 2 Dr Who, 1 Star Wars, and a Spirited Away kimono at SDCC!

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    Colleen Houck
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.