Monday, September 22, 2014

Imaginarium and Underrated Treasures Blogfest

My vendor table
It's late on Sunday, and I'm exhausted. Spent five hours in the car, and I just want to crash.

I spent all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at an amazing new convention called Imaginarium in Louisville, Kentucky. It's a unique con specifically for creative writers. There were panels galore for everyone. Whether you write novels, short stories, songs, screenplays, poetry, or anything else you can think of, there were panels for you.

I spent almost all my time manning my vendor table where I sold all three of my books: Dragonfly Warrior, Shadow Warrior, and Death Knocks. Overall, I know many of the vendors were disappointed. After all, we were all selling to fellow writers.

So I didn't do as well as I had hoped, but I did way better than most. And I had a NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author actually buy my book. Believe it or not, we met at a bar in downtown Louisville, and when I told her that I wrote "Asian Steampunk," her curiosity was piqued. First thing next morning, she sought out my table and bought a copy of Dragonfly Warrior. I hope she likes it.

The best part was getting to see my fellow writer friends and make a bunch of new ones. I hope to see them all next year, and maybe the con will open up the vendor hall to the public and get more pure readers in there.


Underrated Treasures Blogfest!

Underrated Treasures Blogfest time! Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is my chance to tell the world about my underrated treasure! Thanks so much to Alex for creating this fun blogfest. I decided to share with you an underrated movie and book.

Underrated Movie: The Power of One. This powerful movie from 1992 was based on Bryce
Courtenay's novel of the same title. It featured Morgan Freeman, Stephen Dorf, and a very young and unknown Daniel Craig. The film is about being of English heritage while living in the 1930s in South Africa. It's full of the racism and violence associated with Apartheid, and there are parts of it that are downright disturbing.

But this movie packs a punch. Literally. The sport of boxing becomes central to the story, but it's vital symbol of the struggle many South Africans had to overcome during a very dark period in South African history. This film didn't do much in theaters, and critics were lukewarm to it. I personally thinks it's a pretty amazing film.

Underrated Book: This book isn't underrated, but it is quite unknown. It's the young adult novel, Fade, by Robert Cormier. It's about a young man who discovers he has the power of invisibility. It's apparently an ability handed down from uncle to nephew. Although it sounds like a run-of-the-mill paranormal YA book, it's not. Holy crap. Not even close.

The main character, at first, thinks being invisible is awesome. I mean, many of us would think so. But as he starts to wander around town spying on his neighbors, he witnesses all kinds of horrors. He sees things he can't unsee, and it really messes with him.

As he ages, he finds that he cannot control the power of The Fade, and he'll just turn invisible at any random time. And then he learns he has a nephew who has been using his invisible power for evil, and he has to confront him.

It's just an incredible book, and I strongly recommend you check it out. It happens to be one of Stephen King's favorites.

51 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You have an awesome display! Glad you did well there.
I've heard of the film but not seen it. Guess I haven't reached the end of NetFlix after all.
Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

Jay Noel said...

Alex: Thanks! I think the guy that director Karate Kid also directed this. I can see that, but it's not cheesy.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Your vendor table looks awesome!

And I remember reading Robert Cormier when I was younger but I don't recall that one - and it sounds like I would if I had read it. Going on my TBR list right now!

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

jaybird said...

Looks like you did a great job representing!! Am I mistaken or is this the same Cormier that wrote I Am The Cheese? Cause Fade sounds amazing! Great description.

Miranda Hardy said...

I haven't seen that movie, or read that book. I must be living in a hole.

That book does sound fantastic.

Jay Noel said...

Madeline: Let me know what you think. It's a fast read, which is great. But just a chilling tale.

jaybird: Yes! Same author. He's one of my heroes.

Jay Noel said...

Miranda: I think you will LOVE both, as we seem to have the same taste in books and movies.

Decadent Kane said...

Haven't heard of either one til now. But the movie sounds interesting to me. Thanks for sharing.
My blog post

Jay Noel said...

Dec: Thanks for stopping by!

Pat Hatt said...

I've seen the film, but it was so long ago now I barely remember it. Plus don't think it sunk in fully as I saw it as a kid. Awesome you had a great time at the convention

Dianne K. Salerni said...

It sounds like you did very well at the convention, especially if you were only selling to other authors. Authors can be picky about what they buy, because they attend so many events and they can't buy from every other author they meet, obviously! I've rented a table at the Baltimore Book Festival this upcoming weekend with other authors. I've never been before -- and it's three days -- I have no idea how well I'll make out at such a huge event. How do I even attract notice?!

As for Fade, I'm not familiar with that one even though I read a whole bunch of Robert Cormier as part of a project in graduate school. Then again, that was a LONG time ago. If this one was published after 1989 it wouldn't have been included in my study. ;)

Tamara Narayan said...

Okay. If Stephen King likes it I'm in! Actually, I'd read it just based on your review. It sounds fascinating.

Jay Noel said...

Patt: I used to have it on VHS. Need to see it again!

Dianne: It was tough, but I think there were enough people intrigued by the whole "Asian Steampunk" premise. And Fade I believe was first published in 1988. Thanks for visiting!

Jay Noel said...

Tamara: I believe Stephen King even gave a forward for one of the editions. The books has several editions. It's that awesome.

Christine Rains said...

Glad you had a good time at the convention and so exciting that a best selling author was interested in your book. I don't think she will be disappointed. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

Having a major author buy your book is probably the best sale you can have Jay! Congrats and I'll have to check out your choices.

Mark Means said...

Makes me wish I still lived in the N.Ky. area where Louisville was about an hours drive South. Glad to hear you did well and your book sounds awesome :)

Susanne Drazic said...

The convention sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing your picks for the Underrated Treasures Blogfest.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

At those conventions, it's not always about sales but connections. From the photo, you had a wonderful display.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I saw that movie and it was good. The book sounds really good too. That convention sounds pretty interesting. I might check it out next year if I can afford it.

Jay Noel said...

Christine: Thanks, I hope so!

Maurice: That's right. I think you'd like The Power of One.

Mark: It was incredible. People came from all over.

Susanne: Thank you for visiting!

Diane: Very true. I made a TON of connections and friendships.

Susan: I have the book somewhere too...hmm....where did I put it? The vendor table was only $75, but I think if you volunteer to be on so many panels, your vendor table is free.

Sarah Foster said...

Glad you enjoyed the convention and sold a few books. I've read a few books by Robert Cormier but hadn't heard of Fade. It sounds really good.

Margo Kelly said...

Oh, I loved THE POWER OF ONE. Now I want to go watch it again! Thanks for the info on the convention. It's always helpful to hear how these events turn out for the writers manning the tables.

Stephanie Faris said...

Wow, Fade sounds awesome!!! I'm going to have to add that to my TBR list.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Jay,

Sounds to me like opening up the books to the public makes a whole lotta sense. They could have dedicated a few hours of one day to doing that.

I like the sound of Fade, but haven't come across it before.

Jeremy Hawkins said...

It's funny I have been reading the films many have chosen, I think I have had the scores or soundtracks to most... this one stumps me. So i looked, I do have it... Hans Zimmer. Awesome.

Jeremy [Retro]
Howlin' Wolf Records: On-Line Magazine

Loni Townsend said...

Yay for having big sellers interested in your book! That's awesome. Looks like you had a great table.

I've heard of the book, but not the movie. Probably heard of the book because of Stephen King. :)

Tami Von Zalez said...

I've added the book to my must-read list.

http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com/2014/09/underrated-treasures-blogfest.html

S. L. Hennessy said...

I think my friend recommended Fade to me once before. I guess I really do need to read it!

writerlysam.com said...

Love that film--one of my favorite scores by Hans! https://play.spotify.com/album/2TdMTOD9Knbl52qANWRvBG

Fade sounds intriguingly creepy.

Cheers!
Sam
A Treasure Trove of Music

Leona~Author said...

Hi Jay,

It was very nice to meet you at the Imaginarium convention. I'm the gal in the wheelchair whose vendor table was next to yours. The con was a first for me and a big learning experience. It was great meeting people, like Mysti Parker, whom I'd been online friends for quite a while.

Best wishes for great sales,

Leona

Chrys Fey said...

Both of those are new to me, so thanks for sharing! And congratulations on having two best-sellers interested in your book. That's awesome!

Cynthia said...

I haven't heard of the Imaginarium before. It's nice to hear about events out there for authors. I'm glad you had fun meeting other writers.

mooderino said...

Cool sounding event, although they should really allowed the public to buy from vendors. Still, glad to see you're going from strength to strength.

mood

Catherine Stine said...

Yes! Robert Cormier is a very good writer.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Underrated treasures hold so many meanings to us who treasure them. Awesome that you got to show off your book and crazy that a best selling author's interest was piqued so much. Congrats Jay. I'm intrigued that poetry was there you don't hear that very often at book fairs sometimes.

Arlee Bird said...

Too bad about the show, but it does seem like a good experience even if less than successful. Live and learn I guess.

Both your picks are unknown to me.

Lee
Tossing It Out

D.G. Hudson said...

The book FADE appeals to me, not much for watching boxing or any fighting. Thanks for the info about the book.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great display at Imaginarium! I think you're doing awesome by getting out there and getting your books into different readers hands. Writers are readers too. :)
Great choices!

Lynda R Young said...

I did like The Power Of One at the movies, and Fade sounds like a great read.
Sounds like you had fun at the convention.

mike spain said...

The table looks great! Fade sounds like a great read!

Al Diaz said...

It's cool being the writer that sold more books. I personally think your books are very appealing. I think I heard of that movie but it is not my kind of movie.

Robin said...

I just added Fade to my reading list. Thank you!

I didn't see the movie, either. Makes me wonder about myself...

Morgan said...

Wonderful update, Jay! You're doing it! You should be so proud!!! :)

cleemckenzie said...

Asian Steampunk has to be a grabber in a conversation. Good for you.

M Pax said...

Glad you had a good time at the con. Looks like fun. I'll have to check out your treasure picks.

J. Lenni Dorner said...

Selling to fellow writers seems to have become the norm among many that I've interacted with.

Good list. Except now my Amazon to-buy has one more on the pile!!! LOL.

Mark Noce said...

Power to ya! That's a lot of work. It looks like you had a great booth:)

Jenna Howard said...

Hopefully they'll ramp up Imaginarium to be both a reader & writer con a lot like the When Words Collide up here. It's very genre orientated with both readers and writers. Had I known Kelley Armstrong had been to the one here, I would've gone but I didn't know until the Friday of...bummer. But sounds like you had a good time and people are buying. That's what counts!

Jay Noel said...

Thanks everybody! And I hope you all like some of my underrated recommendations.

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