Pensacon: A hot ticket for Fantasy authors

Pensacon is one of the city’s most anticipated events, but Channel 3 learned, fans aren’t the only ones fighting for a ticket.

“My authors are begging me to come to Pensacon,” said Alexi Vanderburg.

Vanderburg creates the “traveling celebrity experience” for Fantasy authors and fans at conventions, like Pensacon, across the country.

Bard’s Tower” is his creation, it can be spotted from almost anywhere on the vendor floor.

The traveling tower of authors started as a WordFire Press marketing project but it got so big it become its own thing. The publishing group still works closely with it and sponsors tables at conventions like Pensacon.

There you can find Fantasy fan favorites Kevin Anderson, author of more than 50 best sellers, and Robin Hobb, best known for “The Farseer Trilogy.” Near them are authors breaking out into the Fantasy fiction world, like Michael Allen.


“We cover a range of authors,” explained Vanderberg, “from big best sellers, to supporting new talent.”

Fans stop by to meet the authors and ask questions about the worlds and characters created by the ban of writers. They excitedly bring their copies to have them signed.

Meeting the readers is one of Hobb’s favorite things about conventions. She said what makes Pensacon stand out to her is how extremely welcoming the city is from the Pensacola Intergalactic Airport to the hotels.

“It’s quite an experience,” said Hobb.

There is a sense of support between the authors at Pensacon.

“Kevin Anderson has a writing workshop,” explained Allen.

Allen described the writers as the greatest community you can ask for.

Although the group of authors travel to hundreds of conventions every year, they had nothing but good things about Pensacola and Pensacon when asked how it compared to other conventions.

“You are amazing,” gushed Vanderberg, “the entire community gets into this.”

He said Pensacola’s enthusiasm and openness makes the entire trip enjoyable for all involved.

“It is a good size convention, but it feels intimate,” explained Anderson. He said it has a lot to do with how well organized the event is.

You can find Anderson, Hobb, Allen, Ramon Terrell, T. Allen Diaz and many other talented authors on the vendor floor under Bard’s Tower at Pensacon.

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