Monday, April 23, 2018

The Magic of Conventions

Me and some writer friends
This past weekend, I went to my favorite science fiction/fantasy convention, Cape Comic Con. I wasn't able to attend last year, so it was great catching up with friends and making new ones. It seems I've been fortunate enough to attend these kinds of events just when my confidence is at its lowest.

Most recently, sales of my latest release, Gateway Mothman, have been much slower than I expected. This book means a lot to me since the setting is my hometown, which is still dealing with the radioactive cleanup issues at the West Lake Landfill and Coldwater Creek. Also, my book features the Mothman. Yea Mothman!

I sold more books at this regional Con than I ever have at the big national shows (i.e. Wizard World). Readers who bought my books two years ago came back for more. I just about sold out of
Looks a little like Gaston
my entire stock, and most importantly, I got to connect with other readers and writers.

*There was a pair of young girls with a parent who described in great detail their fantasy universe, the stories, and the characters in their world. They said that the two of them, along with a couple other friends, would sit under a big tree and write down ideas and draft their epic fantasy novel. Isn't that amazing? Most kids are glued to their smartphones or playing video games. Talking to these budding writers really touched me.

*Another young man had purchased my Mechanica Series two years ago, but just recently started reading the first book. He said those first five chapters inspired him to start writing again. What??? Seriously? I was blown away.

*A group of what I call "super-fans" rushed over. They scolded me for not coming last year. They then introduced me to some new members of their crew who proceeded to buy a copy of every single one of my books. One of them even showed the cover art to a nearby artist who then sketched a fun caricature of Zenjiro, the MC of my steampunk series. They wanted pictures of all of us together, and they continually visited my table in the vendor hall throughout the weekend. I love them!

Most of my readers are also writers, and I lost track of how many engaging conversations I had with them. We traded resources and ideas, shared our favorite books, and we talked about the challenges we face as writers.

I'm glad I sold a lot of books. That helps offset the costs with travel and lodging to attend these kinds of events. But the connections and friendships I made were more than worth it. To me, it's the magic of going to sci-fi/fantasy conventions.

P.S. Lou Ferrigno was at this Con. Here he is being sworn in as an honorary deputy by the local sheriff's office. Mr. Ferrigno is 66, people. 66! And "The Hulk" still looks like he could crush Thor.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tons of fans and sales is great. Where is that con?

We're hitting three cons in NC (including Supercon) this year and will hopefully expand to more. Some were a bit out of our price range. (Would love to do Dragon Con, but not at $900 a booth.)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

This event had to be a blast for sooo many reasons. Congrats on selling books.

Pat Hatt said...

That is sure awesome indeed. Sales are always a win. Yeah, he sure looks like he could snap many in two.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Awesome you sold fans and met kids who were excited about writing. There is hope!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I got my copy of your Mothman book, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

It sounds like you had a great con!! Selling out is ALWAYS good. Lou is looking amazing. When I was a kid, my sisters would always watch the show and lament that the legs of his pants would tear away but not the rest. They were rotten.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

So good to see Lou has some longevity in him. Too many of these body-builder types die young. I don't know why, but maybe it has to do with steroids and heart muscle and stuff like that. It's great that you are collecting and pleasing fans.

Loni Townsend said...

It sounds like a wonderful time. It's inspiring to hear about your connections. :)

Intangible Hearts said...

Wow, the Hulk does look big. Glad you had fun!

Teresa Hamilton said...

Glad you had fun!
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Pat Dilloway said...

Mothman was great. Good that you sold a lot of books at the con. I think Shaquille O'Neal is another big guy who's an honorary deputy; him and Lou Ferigno would make for a fun buddy cop team.

Jay Noel said...

Thanks, Pat. I appreciate your continued support!

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