Conventions

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ConCarolinas Wrap-up Thinky Post

Published June 7, 2016 by administrator

It’s Tuesday after ConCarolinas, and I’m finally out of the post-con coma. I’m almost human again, too. Conventions these days wear me out almost as much as the day after. Yesterday was spent buried beneath my little girls while they wallowed all over me. It was our first time away from the little one, and two years since we had an extended weekend away from the big one. I admit, I slept like the dead this weekend, but it didn’t really do much to make me not miss my babies.

So, ConCarolinas.

First of all, a huge shout-out and love-filled thank you to Carol Cowles, Jada Hope, and Misty Massey for being the most awesome con mistresses ever. You guys are my heroes.

I love this convention. Not only is it the closest one to home, but it’s also one of the best. It isn’t a huge con, but it’s got a good crowd full of great people. We’ve all been together for so many years that we really are a family now. It was huge fun getting to play with Alexandra, Crymsyn, Nicole, and Melissa at the table. In case there was ever any doubt, we ARE the party at a convention. We have a big old time, and we give people candy. I really enjoyed Mom-talk with Sarah and getting to meet her family. I didn’t realize how much I missed talking to Faith since our days in the CC dungeon behind the escalator. The extended family – John, Jay, Misty, Gail, Tamsin, Emily, and all the rest that I’m forgetting to name… I love these people. I’ve made so many friends in the eight or nine years I’ve been attending, both as fan and as guest, and that roster continues to grow every single year.

The panels were a blast, and I really enjoyed this year’s Writer’s Workshop. It’s nice to see so many talented people coming up through the ranks as compared to all the nonsense floating around the interwebs these days. I didn’t sell much, but then again that isn’t really why I go to ConCarolinas. I went for the reasons mentioned above. These are my people, my tribe. Even the readers are so freaking awesome it makes my heart sing. It was well worth the cost of the hotel room. And the food… OMG. There’s a blog post coming later on truck food. It makes me hungry just thinking about that lobster dog.

All in all, and despite the issues with the A/C, it was a good weekend.

This year’s shindig is particularly significant as it marks my return to the con circuit after a year off. My con-going ended abruptly after MidSouthCon last year, and did so on quite the sour note. Then I spent the last twelve months pregnant, sick, depressed, and all manner of other things which are not conducive to the creative lifestyle. Suffice it to say I approached this event with no small amount of trepidation.

Social anxiety has been a growing problem over the last few years. I started out on a high note, publishing my first book in May 2011 and following it up with multitudes more. Conventions were big fun and I was just really starting to get the hang of this being-a-writer thing when my world collapsed. We won’t get into the psychological trauma of losing my father again (we all know we’ve been over that too much), but it was the primary catalyst for my withdrawal from society and, almost completely, from writing. And the tragedy didn’t stop there. The last few years have been an onslaught of sadness coupled with the all-consuming NEW MOM tag. My girls take up most of my time, and between them and the why-bother feeling from the general state of the writing market, it’s been a tough trek getting my mojo back.

I have to say, though… ConCarolinas has done wonders for my writer’s soul. I came out of it renewed and inspired. And the September deadline I acquired Saturday night can only help. It’s ambitious for me since I’m a slow writer, but I think having that project and the expectations of a publisher waiting on it will help me to drag myself out of the dirt and get back to it.

Which brings me to my last, and probably most important, comment: I just wanted to say thank you to John Hartness for being a great friend, and for believing so strongly in me even when I don’t believe in myself. And for calling me out on it in public. I needed that kick in the ass.

So enough of this. I have a book to finish.

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The Return! or, ConCarolinas on the Horizon

Published May 23, 2014 by administrator

It’s been a minute, I know. I’ve been busy.

While the last month hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park, I’m still hanging on. We’ve suffered through a pair of devastating blows for my family (my grandmother passed away on April 30th after her long-standing journey into Dementia and we found by coincidence that my father’s oldest brother whom I never met passed away back in September after a battle with cancer), my husband got some not-so-good news from one of his doctors (nothing life threatening, but not the best news for us at this juncture), and my husband’s aunt has taken a nose-dive into the last days of her life. Suffice it to say, it’s not been fun.

But that hasn’t stopped me. I’ve been trucking right along to the beat of my weird little drum, and despite the pitfalls I’ve found a place where I can be happy with my world. I’m still writing, still holding on, and still being me. So here’s what I’ve been up to:

1. Devil’s Daughter has received a facelift and a fresh edit. Lydia will once again be in the hands of the world very soon. I’m excited. Cover reveal coming. Stay Tuned.

2. Armageddon Rising is waiting on artwork.  We were hoping to have a release party for it next week, but alas…artwork is not yet mine. [Insert dramatic sigh here.]

3. ConCarolinas is creeping up on us. Next weekend I’ll be in Charlotte, NC with my crazy schedule, my table, and a bunch of rabid George R.R. Martin fans. Aside from the small stint Saturday morning where I’ll be attending my step-daughter’s high school graduation, I’ll be in and out of panels and selling books. Come see me! Schedule is below:
THE SCHEDULE

Friday:

2:30pm – Start To Finish
8:30pm – Romance in Genre Writing

Saturday:

9:00am – Breakfast and Books
12:00pm – Writing for Anthologies II
5:00pm – Spanish Moss and Magic Spells
9:30pm – The Monster in the Closet
11:00pm – The Art of the Sex Scene

Sunday:

10:00am – Spirituality, in my Sci-FI?
2:30pm – Blending Magic with History

Con Artists: The Art of Working a Convention

Published February 25, 2014 by administrator

Comic Con

Mornin’, Creeps.

It’s con season!

After the seemingly wild success my friends had at conventions this past weekend (sadly, none of which I attended), there has been some discussion about how to make the most of a convention. In fact, my friend and publisher, Nicole Kurtz from Mocha Memoirs Press, has asked on behalf of the press for advice on how best to work a convention. I’ve been doing it for years, so when asked to offer my advice, I thought I’d do it this way.

I should pause here and say this: Conventions are when I make the most money on books. I order lots of books, and I sell them. The months following cons are usually when I have my best ebook sales as well, because I go all out. I make sure that every person who walks past my table knows I’m there.

I’ve been to events where sales are easy, and I’ve also been to ones where the sales suck. I’ve seen author-centric events where everyone is happy, but I’ve also been to events where authors are less than second-class citizens. One event last year was a complete bust, I realized, when someone actually had the nerve to say something along the lines of “This ain’t a readin’ convention.” NOT GOOD.

The best piece of advice I can give authors attempting to build a con presence is this: No matter the event, don’t let you frustration show through (because yes, you will be frustrated!). Keep smiling, because your smile and your good humor are going to go a long way.

Now, for your reading pleasure, I offer up a list of twenty rules I live by for public appearances:

  1. Imaginarium LogoGet a table. It showcases your work and gives you a base of operations.
  2. (Alexandra Christian will agree with me on this one because we’ve talked about it repeatedly.) Bathe. Dress appropriately. You’re selling yourself as much as you’re selling your books. Oh, and if you plan on cosplaying, don’t just slap on a dress and walk out the door. Fix your hair and makeup too.
  3. Overstock your books. Have lots under the table, but only keep three or so of each title on top. What you don’t sell at this show, you can sell at the next, or offer signed from your blog/website.
  4. Go to Wal-Mart and buy the $.97 photo stands. Having your book standing up means people will see it. It also means they’re going to stop and look. Make sure you have extras. You’ll want to take one or two to panels with you to stand your books up on the table.
  5. Have swag. People respond well to free stuff. Bookmarks, postcards, book plates…these are easy and fairly inexpensive options. People also enjoy stickers. Higher-end swag such as pens, keychains, armbands, etc… those things are very nice, but you want to reserve those things for people who actually stop to talk to you. If you plan to put things in people’s hands, use the paper products. If they stop and talk, offer your deluxe stuff. If you’re the crafty type, make something to give away. I crochet beaded bookmarks. People love them. I stick one (attached to a business card) in every book I sell. Your goal is to give out every piece of paper swag you bring with you.
  6. Take one of each book and bunches of swag to panels. Let people look at the books. Give them the swag. Don’t be afraid to sell that book on the spot and tell others if they want it that you’ll gladly take them to your table where you have more. If you do pick up a friend, talk to that person on the way back to the table. Be charming and they might buy more than one book.
  7. Stand up. If you have a booth rather than a table, get out from behind the table. Don’t be afraid to engage people. Say “good morning” and “good afternoon”. Ask people how they’re enjoying themselves.
    ConCarolinas Logo
  8. Talk to people who stop. Ask their names. Ask them questions about what they like to read. Find out their favorite books and make recommendations on your books based on what they say. If you don’t have anything they might like, point them in the direction of another author who does. This is called networking, and chances are the reader is going to remember you because you were helpful and friendly.
  9. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself and your accomplishments. If you’ve won awards for something, let people know it.
  10. Make sure you put a business card in that person’s hands before s/he leaves. Let people know how to find you and keep up with you.
  11. Have a booth babe. It can be your girlfriend, husband, neighbor, best friend, WHATEVER. Have someone there to keep your table open for business even if you aren’t there. Make sure this person can and will talk you up. It’s actually a lot of fun to have someone in the wings to tell people you’re the best thing since sliced Beatles while you aren’t there.
  12. Don’t overload yourself with panels. 8 panels should be sufficient- two on Friday, four on Saturday, and two on Sunday. That gives you time to eat and be at your table to sell books. You want to be accessible.
  13. Print up quick postcards with a book cover on one side and your panel schedule on the back. Give them out to everyone on Friday and Saturday. You want to run out of these first so people know where you are.
  14. Invest in a Square account. The card reader is free if you open the account and the rates are reasonable. You don’t have to turn people away just because they don’t have cash. Make a sign that declares your acceptance of credit cards.
  15. Embrace the QR codes. If you have eBooks, put QR codes with direct links to the books’ Amazon and B&N pages. Find out what your reader owns and give her the appropriate card. Make sure the cards have the cover, genre, title, blurb, and your web address. You also want to mark whether the code is for Amazon or B&N. I do them for iBookstore, Kobo, All Romance, and any other site that might have my books as well.MisSouthCon
  16. Make your display interesting. Bring a table cloth in case one isn’t provided. Have posters, banners, or other attention-getting media. If you’re selling eBooks, create a scrapbook of sorts that houses your book covers, your blurbs, your contact information, and buy links. Put QR codes on them in case people want to scan it and look them up. Make sure your table matches the theme of your writing. Dress up your set and create an atmosphere. Invest in literature stands. Stand your merchandise up so people can see it. It declutters your table and makes you look organized and professional.
  17. Be focused on the crowd. If you’re sitting behind the table (and I’ve learned this from experience) doing something else, people are going to blow right by you like you aren’t even there. It’s because THEY CAN’T SEE YOU. Con-goers are notoriously overwhelmed by the goings-on. It’s like a circus without the elephants.
  18. Keep a pen and a sharpie on your person at all times.
  19. Make sure your badge is where people can easily see it all the time. You want people to know you’re an author, not just another pretty face in the teeming mass of con slaves. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to other authors and make friends. They’re your competition, yes, but they’re also your allies. Us indie authors are all in this together.
  20. Attend a con as a person before you attend as an author. You need to understand convention energy from the front of the table so you know how to work it from the back.

AtomaCon Header

And just in case you’re interested, my next public appearance will be at ConCarolinas in Charlotte, NC this May. I’ll also be at Imaginarium in Louisville, KY and AtomaCon in Charleston, SC later in the year. Come out and see me in action!

 

What Went Wrong at Fandom Fest?

Published July 31, 2013 by administrator

The gears are still turning, kids.

Yesterday I talked about my personal experience at the convention. I’ve also picked up membership in a few groups and I’ve been keeping up with Reddit. Fandom Fest is still fresh in my mind and I’m in full-tilt administrative mode right now. I have all of these wonderful ideas and nowhere to go with them, so I’m going to hold a little bit of Q&A with myself about what went wrong and how to fix it.

PROBLEM #1: UNINFORMED CREW

Solution:  Crew meetings.

It doesn’t matter the size of the convention, every staff member should be required to attend at least one orientation meeting. Said meeting should include a program, panel list, and location chart that each crew member or volunteer needs to learn.  Crew members should also have station assignments and personal schedules so everyone is on the same page and the poor crew members aren’t left stranded for ten and twelve hours without food or drink. For something as large as Fandom Fest, multiple meetings are a must. Make sure everyone signs in for at least one of these meetings.

Everyone should have access to the organizers, whether it’s through headset, text message, or social media. Pretty much everyone has a twitter account and a smart phone these days, so that’s a good way to keep in touch in case of room shifts, cancellations, or any other unforeseeable minor (or major) catastrophe. If for some reason a crew member can’t answer a question, the organizers or the event manager should be within easy contact to answer said question.

PROBLEM #2: NO SIGNAGE

Solution: Okay, this one should be obvious. MAKE SIGNS, PEOPLE!

It’s not hard to print up a few signs – or even run to the nearest pharmacy and pick up a notebook and some markers to make your own. Hand-written signage is better than no signage.  Yet again people didn’t even know a literary track existed. Some of us made up our own panel schedules to hand out, and that’s how we managed to attract the small crowds that we did.

If you have changes or cancellations – write them up and post them in multiple places for people to see. Lines for events should be clearly marked and roped off beforehand. Live feeds on Facebook and Twitter will do wonders for the attendees who feel like wandering cattle.

People should be given programs from the start. It’s only fair that if a person is paying that much money to enter an event, s/he gets to know all aspects of said event.

PROBLEM #3: POOR ORGANIZATION

Solution: Make sure you have your ducks in a row before you let the first person in.

I think this one goes hand in hand with everything else. I understand that it’s hard to keep track of a huge function – I’m an events planner as part of my day job, so I know how quickly things can get out of hand. But you have to keep communication with your staff at all times. You have to be honest with your audience. And more than anything, the people you’re promoting (and who are promoting you) have to be kept in the loop.

I have a hard time believing that the organizers allowed one of their big stars to be left at the airport, or that another star was left waiting in his hotel room. I also find it to be in atrociously bad taste that a cancelled Q&A session was blamed on the celebrity. It does not matter whose fault it is. The organizer should step up and take responsibility. That’s the only professional approach to a bad situation. No matter what, it’s always the convention’s fault! I don’t say that to point fingers… I say that because it is always the responsibility of the management team to make sure these things go off without a hitch. Yes, things happen. But it’s the way they’re handled that makes or breaks a reputation.

PROBLEM #4: RUDENESS

Solution: Don’t be rude.

Yes, it’s a trite answer, but it’s the truth! Everyone – and I do mean EVERYONE – was frustrated. This is where professionalism comes into play. You can’t strongarm people out of the way then expect them not to complain. I’m not the type to scream “abuse” but if you touch me, then yes I’m more than within my rights to get you for assault. I don’t like physical confrontations, but I’m not afraid to lay someone out if he injures me. I don’t fight fair, and I don’t hit like a girl. I don’t care if you’re in uniform or costume… touch me and it’s on like Donkey Kong.

I understand why the room was shut down on Saturday, but I also think there were much more professional ways of handling it than loud-mouthed women biting my head off because I was trying to get through the masses to a panel. I might be nobody, but damn it I’m still a guest and a panelist, and I expect to be treated with the same respect you’re treating your stars.

Oh, wait… it appears I was. Nevermind.

It’s appalling to think that the organizers are refusing refunds to people who didn’t get what they paid extra money for by citing that their attendance negates the claims. Excuse my language, but that’s bullshit, people.  You don’t shut people down from the start. You first offer to explore the issue. If someone doesn’t get what s/he pays for, then you’re obligated to give that person at least a partial refund. Otherwise you’ve stolen money and you’ve crossed the line from disorganized to criminal.

Yeah, I’ll say it. Refusing refunds for services not rendered is THEFT and it is ILLEGAL.

Personally, I agree with John Barrowman when he told his fans to ask for their money back. They didn’t get what they paid for, so it was only fair. I can’t speak for him, but I’m fairly certain he would have understood if he’d just been told the truth from the start. He seems like a nice enough guy that he can accept problems. It’s the lack of a solution that seemed to really get under his skin.

Treat your guests better, because chances are they’re going to ruin you before you ever get the chance to ruin them.

PROBLEM #5: SECRECY

Solution: Be honest, people. It’s not that hard.

I understand that the organizers of any convention don’t want to draw negative press, but in trying to forcefully silence the masses, you’re opening yourself up to even more negativity than if you’d just handled the situation and moved on. You can’t demand that people only tell the positive, because not everyone experienced the positive. You have to take the complaints with a logical and professional head because snapping at your upset customers is only going to get you smacked down.

These comments should be welcomed and accepted. And each one should be addressed individually. And here’s another dirty little secret – if someone complains on your Facebook wall, don’t delete the comment because it makes you look petty and childish. Oh, and like you’re hiding things.

I also find it in extremely poor taste that vendors have been threatened to have their reputations ruined over this. There’s no contract in place, and even if there was, libel and slander clauses are bogus anyway. It’s only libel or slander if it isn’t true, so that argument is invalid from the start.

*****

So those seem to be the biggest issues I’ve gleaned from the massive piles of rants. I should end this by saying that I’m voicing my personal opinions. I’m also open to suggestions if anyone has any other ideas as to how to make things work better.

Personally, I agree with John Barrowman when he told his fans to ask for their money back. They didn’t get what they paid for, so it was only fair. I can’t speak for him, but I’m fairly certain he would have understood if he’d just been told the truth from the start. He seems like a nice enough guy that he can accept problems. It’s the lack of a solution that seemed to really get under his skin.

Fandom Fest: The WTF? Edition

Published July 30, 2013 by administrator

So we’re back in hot and muggy South Carolina and still recovering from the crazy road trip to Kentucky. I have lots of thoughts on the weekend and I’m still trying to organize them, so please bear with me. This may not make a bunch of sense, but we’re going to try.

First…

THE GOOD

Stephen Zimmer is amazingly awesome in so many ways. He’s a brilliant organizer, a great friend, and an all around good guy. And even after this weekend, still the most wonderfully optimistic organizer I’ve ever seen. He’s the coolest person in the world and I have the utmost love and respect for him. He’s a superhero.

I always love seeing everyone. There are so many wonderful people around and about during the con that I never go anywhere alone. This year I made some new friends, and ones I wouldn’t trade for the world. The Seventh Star Press crew is like a second family and I love them all, including the ones I just met this year. I always enjoy hanging out with Alexx and Charlie, and it’s the one time a year the world allows Selah Janel and me to be in the same city.

The Literary Track itself was fantastic. The panels were great and the guests were amazing. It’s a good group of people, and an intelligent, well-versed group.

And I will freely admit I fangirled all over myself a little bit because I got to meet James O’Barr. But that’s a story for another time.

The food and fellowship was fabulous all the way around. I made some amazing new friends. I even sold a few crocheted cthulhus.

THE NOT SO GOOD

The organization sucked. And that’s all I can say about it and still remain professional. We were once again left out in the cold as authors with no signage and no advertisement from the convention organizers. AT ALL.

Due to the lack of advertisement of the literary track and the authors on it, my sales suffered. I had three books for sale. Sold two copies of a digital edition on the very last day. Had to mark down the hand-made merchandise to move it and ended up playing Annoying Cockroach In The Aisle just to get rid of the promotional materials I had. My lovely author friends are all frustrated by this, because we all suffered the same horrible fate.

There are a whole host of complaints that have come out in the last few days about screw ups, cancellations, bad timing, horrible scheduling conflicts, accidents, guests being lost, forgotten, lied to and otherwise abused, and a whole crew who didn’t have a clue what was going on.

It wasn’t the fault of the crew. It was bad organization all the way around. I hate to say it, but it’s going to be a hard sell to return. Having to drive 8 hours one way, pay for hotel rooms, food and gas, and then have such a disappointing show is a tough pill to swallow. At least for me, as the quintessential starving artist.

I also find it amusing that in many of the comments, the owner of said convention is rumored to have threatened exhibitors with loss of reputation in the con circuit thanks to his own pull if negative press is released. After Reddit threads, Facebook comments, twitter feeds, John Barrowman stepping up during his Q&A and advising his fans to seek refunds, the cold and insensitive responses to legitimate requests for reimbursement due to cancelled events and undelivered goods, and the multiple news reports coming out, I’m inclined to believe that the only reputation that shall be damaged is his.

I’m not terribly concerned with my reputation on the convention circuit being tarnished because let’s face it… I’m still a nobody. Oh, and everything I’ve said is true. I was one of the masses locked out on Saturday. I HAD AN EXHIBITOR BADGE AROUND MY NECK AND THEY IGNORED ME. I had a panel I nearly missed because of that insanity. So yeah…I know it’s true.

I do hate to be cold and cruel but honestly after three consecutive years of bad experiences and poor organizational skills, I can’t realistically recommend Fandom Fest to any author. Or potential attendee for that matter. No matter how brilliant our track manager may be, he can’t work miracles when it comes to stubborn, opinionated, and elitist management over his head.

I don’t consider it a total loss simply for the networking opportunities. It had potential, but it could have been so much better.

FANDOM FEST… THE SCHEDULE!

Published July 22, 2013 by administrator

It’s just about here! Yay! Fandom Fest begins in less than a week and I couldn’t be more excited!

Selah and I are splitting a table this year, which means all manner of hijinks! There’s no telling what we’ll get up to, so be sure to stop by once or twice or ten times and see what happens.  There will be books for sale, other stuff to buy, and even a giveaway or two. Yes, we’re shameless. I’m not above putting my husband out in front of the table in a sandwich board that says something of the effect of “COME BUY MY SHIT”, either.

***

So, In honor of the big weekend, here’s a list of where I’ll be panel-wise:

FRIDAY

4:00 PM: Urban Fantasy Today

SATURDAY:

4:00 PM: Fan Fiction

5:30 PM: Whose Story is it Anyway? (Author Improv!)

7:00 PM: Love & Sex for Geeks

SUNDAY:

10:00 AM: Beta Reading (possibly…may give this one to someone who knows more about beta reading than me.)

11:30 AM: The Challenges of Co-Authoring

***

If you don’t find me at one of these locations, then you’ll absolutely be able to find me lurking around our table. We’ll be right across from the Seventh Star Press people, so be sure to stop by and say hi.

Let’s Talk About S…omething.

Published July 27, 2012 by administrator

So my WordPress account got hacked. Big fun. Nothing went missing so whoever did it wasn’t thinking very far ahead, but it was just this massive hassle to recover my password because the bright stars that sent the “you got hacked” email didn’t tell me to just go in and reset my password.

What was it Charlie Brown used to say in situations like this?  AAAAAAAAUUURRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!

Okay, I feel better now.

I don’t have much of an update since last time, so let’s talk about Fandom Fest.

It was a bit of a bust from the literary track side for a whole number of reasons:

(1) No easily accessible panel schedule. People were telling us they didn’t even KNOW there was a literary track.

(2) They tucked us away upstairs with no signage.

(3) The layout of the hotel is wonky and completely wrong for ease of locating.

(4) There was WAAAAY too much going on in that building.

I almost feel sorry for the Galt House actually. There were a lot of people roaming around and some of us looked pretty funny. There were great costumes, fabulous events and some of the most wonderful people in the world.  Some of my internet friends became real friends, and that made the whole trip worth it.

Someone made a comment that it was less a convention than a networking opportunity, and he was very right. I have a massive stack of business cards sitting on my desk, and because of a few of them I have brilliant new ideas. Those ideas might come to life a little faster if only I’d get off my butt and finish what’s in my “In Progress” folder – there are 28 items in that, by the way. One is a completed novel undergoing extensive edits. Another is a half-completed romance novel that we won’t discuss here. The rest are a mishmash of various projects covering the literary spectrum.

Plus I owe beta reads to two people and I really need to get those done.

Procrastination Station, population: Susan.

There’s just too much going on in my head.  Plus one of my friends clued me into YET ANOTHER ANTHOLOGY CALL. The proper term for that would be “OMG.” I don’t have enough brain capacity to add another story to the mix! Yes it’s only 5,000 words and I have a month to write it BUT STILL. NO. NO MORE.

Or not. I’ll figure out something for it. Actually I’ve got a really good short idea in progress in that folder but I don’t have a freaking clue how to make it do what I want.  [Insert noncommittal shrug here.] Eh, I’m sure I’ll figure it out somehow. I always manage to pull something out of my butt at the last minute.  Maybe it’s the deadlines that make it work. I don’t know.

But anyway… BACK TO FANDOM FEST.

Really good food – Hard Rock Cafe and The Old Spaghetti Factory. I think the company made it better, too. I still can’t believe Selah and I hadn’t seen each other in ten years. It didn’t feel like it, though. We picked up where we left off like it had been hours instead of years. I love that, and I miss her like crazy. She and I always get into mischief together, and the con was no exception. We were the horrible fangirl type for awhile there.  The highlight of the weekend was definitely getting to meet John Rhys-Davies.  That absolutely made my weekend.

That and geeking out in a majorly scary way over Timothy Zahn. I’m sure he wanted to call security on us.

Plus it’s not every day that you’re just standing around talking to someone and turn around to find Leatherface standing behind you. Talk about freaky.

We also geeked out my girls – Alice, poor baby, will never be afraid of anything. She laughed at everything.  And then my teenager got to meet Corey Feldman.  That was just it for her. I think she still giggles about it.

Then… Alexx and Charlie, whom I absolutely adore.  My husband has a new man-crush, too. They are the sweetest, most wonderful people in the world and I can’t wait to see them again. I think Alexx was secretly planning to steal Alice, though. They bonded, which made me happy.

As always, Lexxx, Crymsyn, and Tally were with us. I can’t imagine a con without these guys. I’d be bored out of my mind because they entertain me, keep me out of trouble (or in trouble depending on what time it is), and generally make the world a better place.

Stephen… oh, Stephen… how he exists on crackers and Monster I don’t know.  He did such a fabulous job organizing our part of the con… I just hate that his hard work almost all went to waste.

I feel truly blessed to have so many good friends. I love them all and even though the con wasn’t all that successful from the literary standpoint, I’m glad to have had the time with them.  Plus there’s a host of others – old friends and new – that are too numerous to name right now. I definitely look forward to seeing them all again and yes…I have every intention of going back next year.

Hopefully by then I’ll actually have books to sell.  It’s worth a shot considering I write horror and it’s a horror film festival.  Who knows…next year I might just get lucky.

I’d best get back to work now… these books aren’t going to write themselves. But oh, how I wish they would.

Fandom Fest…The Final Countown!

Published June 26, 2012 by administrator

In three days, we’ll be kicking off a weekend of hilarious fun with a series of panels at 2:30 PM.  The topics cover a broad range of subjects, so if you’re coming, come prepared to have a good time!

The following schedule is more for the benefit of the herd listed, but everyone is welcome to take a look and comment on whatever they like. This is where you’ll be able to find my friends and me.  Please, stalk at will.

You see…I WAS going to post it as a spreadsheet but NOOOOO…. my blog won’t let me do that.  *grumbles about technology*

SO, if anyone is interested, you can download the PDF version HERE.

It appears that we will be a busy bunch this weekend, and you know what?  I can’t wait!  It will be fun to reconnect with old friends and make face-to-face connections with new ones.  It’ll be nice to get back into the con groove – to talk about all manner of things and actually have people want to listen.

Most of all, it’ll be fun to just get away for a bit.

See you guys on Friday!