But isn't putting on a persona exactly what a lot of us do at cons? Cons offer people the chance to play with their self image and the perceptions of others. Some people just play themselves, others take it much further. Is an author planning her costuming and a few good lines any different from someone else tooling up with a bat'leth and a few good limes of Klingon?
And I definitely identify with the idea of it as an armour for those too shy to cope with a con or fans otherwise. It was true for me going to cons as a fan, even if I was playing myself, so why wouldn't it be true if I was there as a writer?