Over the weekend, I attended Lilac City Comicon with my good buddy, illustrator Josh Montreuil. Of the three conventions I’ve attended this spring, this was the shortest, being only a single day. This was also the first solidly comic-focused convention I’ve attended as an exhibitor, SpoCon, Norwescon, and CthulhuCon tended to be more varied. Going in I was unsure what to expect.
Overall, I was stunned by the response. I came in with two-and-a-half boxes of books and only left with one. The crowd was great. The people were friendly and excited. In one day at Lilac City I got to meet more new readers than I did working a table for three days at SpoCon. An incredible and flattering response.
Since the convention lasted only one day things were somewhat hectic and harried. So let’s get right to the highlights…
All. The. Cosplay. Seriously, some really incredible work. It was tough to narrow it down for the images with this post, and I’m leaving a lot out. I should throw more of my pictures somewhere so you can see everyone’s hard work. It blew me away.
Having my family come in to hang out. Thanks for the coffee, mom!
Spending time at the table with my friend Josh Montreuil. I’ve known the guy since college, and it’s always a good time hanging out with him. He had a great convention as well. He sold out of a few posters which is always a good thing.
Having a new reader buy The Stars Were Right, and then come back later after he read the first few pages to pick up Old Broken Road. That was a pretty cool moment for me. It’s awesome to see readers enjoy my books so much. Makes me excited to get Red Litten World out there.
Watching Josh create some incredible sketches for his fans. Everything from a smirking Loki, a Black Lantern Batman, to a goalie version of Superman. Fun stuff. (You can see some of his work below.)
Late night pizza and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
Did I mention the cosplay? If not… the cosplay.
Watching a friend of the family experience her first convention. It’s always a bit overwhelming when you first walk in, but everyone remembers their first convention. It’s cool to see.
Seeing and catching up with some old friends from Spokane.
I was really impressed with the new addition to the Spokane Convention Center. It’s a lovely building and really perfect for a convention the size of Lilac City Comicon.
The Z Nation fans. The show is filmed here in the Pacific Northwest, and the crew was at the convention so there were a lot of fans among the attendees and they were all great and very excited about Z Nation.
Seeing some folks from SpoCon! It’s nice to see a little community across conventions. Was great seeing people.
Me embarrassingly being adamant that a bearded individual had changed out of his costume, despite him having never worn a costume. (After going through my photos I realized I was super wrong. Not all white beard-having men look the same, K. M., jeez.)
Going to see Mad Max: Fury Road with Josh the night before the convention. Seriously, see that movie. It’s incredible.
The decompression dinner with some fantastic Spokanites: Josh, Matt, Lars, Peter, Jen, Kevin, and Curt. Was fun to chat and hang out in old haunts and talk about our Lilac City Comicon experience. Everyone had a great time.
I came away from Lilac City Comicon feeling pretty happy with the result. It was a great weekend, and I’ll definitely be back next year. Going into this I had expected LCCC to be my last convention for 2015, but I’d wager there might be a few more conventions in my future. More on that later.
DON’T FORGET: The Red Litten World cover reveal happens this Thursday! If you want a sneak peak ahead of everyone else, click here to sign up for my newsletter. Subscribers get to be first in line for special events and announcements. I’m looking forward to the big reveal, and I hope you are too!
Want to hear my book pitch? Well, last weekend I was lucky enough to be recorded giving my pitch alongside other vendors in the Dealers Room at CthulhuCon PDX. You can watch it below:
I come in around 5:28. Big thanks to Cat from the Northwest Horror Podcastfor putting this all together and sharing it with the internet. She’s posted the full list of vendors with links to their site over on their blog and you can check it out here. (Also, you should subscribe to their podcast via iTunes or Stitcher. It’s a lot of fun.)
The Spring is apparently convention season for me. Norwescon was at the beginning of April and I just wrapped up a weekend in Portland at CthulhuCon PDX. I really enjoyed myself. The convention is an official spin-off from the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuConit had a lot of great guests and I was honored to be apart of the festivities.
This was my first time at a convention doing more than just slinging books from behind my table. I not only did I do a reading, I also spent time signing books at the author’s signing, and I participated on a panel. This crowd was different than other conventions, there was zero cosplay which was surprising, and the crowd definitely skewed older. I also received some of the toughest questions I have ever been asked which was fun. You could really see the passion from the attendees. I really appreciated everyone’s excitement for weird fiction.
Books sales were solid, especially for such an intimate convention. If it had lasted four days like Norwescon 38, I would have sold out again. Still, even with the shorter time frame sales exceeded what I had expected. It was great to meet so many new readers and it was cool to see folks get excited about the world of The Bell Forging Cycle. It really made me eager to get Red Litten World out into the wild.
On to the highlights:
Having the first person I talked to tell me they saw my book on the Lovecraft eZine, had already picked it up, and were excited to read it. If you’re a mythos fan and you’re not reading the eZine you should rectify that now. Mike Davis is a great guy and runs a good site.
Doing my reading on Saturday night. This was my first Con reading and I loved it. I read the Prologue from The Stars Were Right in all its grisly detail. Afterward I had a reader approach me afterward and tell me it was not only beautiful, but it also encouraged him to pick up a copy.
New friends and readers! Thanks to all you amazing people who picked up my book. Enjoy! Feel free to email me when you finish and let me know your thought. Also, please tell your friends and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreadsthey help a lot.
Meeting and talking with Matt and Cat from the Northwest Horror Podcast. Good folks. Cat recorded me doing my pitch, which was fun. I’m now a subscriber and working my way through past episodes.
I loved being a member of the “Creating a Mythos” panel. Ross Lockheart was an excellent moderator and it was an honor to be up there with folks like Wilum Pugmire, Leslie S. Klinger, Paul Komoda, Justin Steele, and Sean Hoade. It was a fun discussion. Wish we had a lot more time for questions from the audience but we were all long winded. I know the panel was recorded, if it gets uploaded I’ll be sure to post it here.
Hanging out with the other writers at the Carbload for Cthulhu signing. It was fun, and a nice change of pace.
All you people who picked up on all the mythos references throughout Stars and then came and talked to me about them. I tend to Easter egg a lot of little details like that and it’s awesome when folks find them.
The art show was fantastic. A lot of really great pieces. Thanks to my buddy Sky for dragging me away from the table. Was totally worth it.
While I didn’t get a chance to see him live, Kari-Lise really liked Leeman Kessler’s Ask Lovecraft segment. Mr. Kessler is a wonderful actor and scholar and very entertaining. If you haven’t seen his portrayal of ol’ Howard Philip I encourage you to check out his youtube channel.
Portland people. Especially Sky and Zach, good dudes. Thanks for hanging out.
I leveled up my table. (See the photo below.) I think the new banner looks real nice. Wouldn’t you agree?
Having a guy stop by and buy a Bell Caravans patch specifically for his new OC cosplay. Looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.
All the compliments I receive about the quality of my books. It’s really good to hear. I put a lot of time and effort into each of them so when it stands out to folks I get really excited.
Hanging out with the lovely people in the The Mall of Cthulhu.
Talking Machen with a fellow fan. Love the Machen.
Overall I came away really happy. Nice to see so many folks come together out of a love for a small segment of literature. Over the course of the con I had several times people asked me if I had read Neil Gaiman’s Hugo winning short story: A Study in Emerald. I haven’t! However, I will be rectifying that tonight. (For those who don’t know it’s a mashup of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraftian Mythos originally published in the anthology Shadows Over Baker Street.) It’s available to read it for freefrom Gaiman’s website.
I will be back. It was an honor to mingle with some of the greats and introduce a few folks to my own brand of Lovecraftian stories. I cannot say enough how exciting it is to see so many fans come together around a small microcosm of speculative fiction. It’s time now to forge ahead. Convention season isn’t quite over for me. In a few weeks it’ll be time for Josh Montreuiland me to descend upon Lilac City Comicon. In the meantime I have more books to write.
This weekend I wrapped up my second convention. That means it’s time for a con debrief! (See the last debrief here.) I spent four amazing days hanging out with the good people of Norwescon 38 in SeaTac, Washington. There’s something very awesome about small sci-fi/fantasy conventions. Everyone is always warm and friendly, and there is a lot of support from fellow attendees, the whole place feels a bit like a family reunion.
The convention was four days. I arrived on Thursday afternoon. I took what pictures I could but I didn’t get nearly enough. (There’s a few more on Instagram.) Unlike other dealers a guy with a couple of books doesn’t take long to setup. So I was ready to go pretty quick. Before the dealer room even opened I had already sold a few books.
Unlike SpoCon, I solo’d Norwescon. Not sure I’d do that again. I spent most of Friday and Saturday on my feet 11+ hours straight. Evenings involved me returning home, killing a martini, and then crashing out. That said, the exhaustion was worth it, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
My biggest news: by the end of the con I sold every copy of The Stars Were Right that I had on hand. I even had to bring in my last box for Saturday. Everyone was excited to pick up the series and honestly I hadn’t expected such enthusiasm. I hope everyone enjoys the beginning of Wal’s story. There’s a lot more to come and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.
Okay, to the highlights:
Obviously, selling out of The Stars Were Right and most of my stock of Old Broken Road. I never expect this. (You can still get paperbacks from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I’ll have more copies soon.)
Meeting Ace, Rob, Dizzy, Xoie, Jennifer, Friday, Michael, Little Bear, Lee, other Michael, and all you other wonderful folks who I either missed or whose names I forgotten. You made a guy feel pretty darn great. Thank you. <3
The cosplay. Oh, my stars and garters, the cosplay! It was all so good. You all outdid yourselves.
Hearing from folks who had started my books before Norwescon was even over. I love it when folks are that excited. Thanks for stopping by and telling me that you were enjoying them.
The official Norwescon social media stream. Seriously, follow them on Instagramand Twitter, they’re awesome.
Having folks who attended SpoCon swing by to tell me they loved The Stars Were Right and were eager to dive into Old Broken Road.
Finally meeting Lee French in person. We’ve followed each other on Twitter for a while. There’s a pic of us smiling over on her wrap-up post. I recommend checking it out.
Whoever was playing the violin on Sunday. It was lovely.
Having an entire group of roommates buy copies of my books. (Instant book club! I’m sorry I can’t remember everyones names.)
Talking hiking with a con attendee. I learned about some hot spring in the Olympics I never knew existed. Now to find time to go hike to them.
George R. R. Martin taking his picture on the Iron Throne with fans.
Did I mention I SOLD OUT of The Stars Were Right? I need to hustle to get fresh copies for the next con!
Everyone person who offered to spell me (especially you Diz, Ace, and Friday) your willingness to help me out meant a lot. I owe you one.
I met the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa! He was as charming as you’d expect and also happened to be one of Norwescon’s founders.
The diversity and openness and acceptance between attendees. Everyone was super considerate and really encouraging.
I’m still dealing with the comedown portion of the con. It was surreal going back to a world where folks didn’t wear steampunk costumes and didn’t dress like elven princesses every day. (Seriously, what’s wrong with the world today?) Sunday night I arrived home exhausted, feeling very accomplished, and missing all you crazy people. I’m glad I went.
There’s no rest for the wicked. Work had been crazy this week and I’m already waist deep in preparing for my next outing. After all, CthulhuCon is coming.
Just a quick update to announce that I launched a new section here on the blog. Behold! The new Appearances tab. This year I am really upping my sci-fi/fantasy convention attendance. I had a blast at SpoCon 2014 and I look forward to hanging out with readers at future conventions. I figured it’d be good to create a space where I list out where I am going and when. That way you can see if I’m coming to a con near you. Click here to check it out now or navigate to it from the main menu. I’ll see you at the cons!
Have a local sci-fi/fantasy convention near you that you think I should attend? Shoot me an email and let me know about it. I’d love to see if I can’t make it work.
Here’s my first con report! This last weekend I spent my time slinging books at SpoCon 2014 in Spokane, Washington. And what a weekend it was! The con was great and full of friendly people, great guest speakers, and amazing costumes. I’ve been to a few conventions before but this was my first as a sponsor/vendor. I’m excited to see what comes of it.
Before I delve into highlight, I want to thank everyone who came by the booth and picked up a copy of The Stars Were Right. I sold way more than I expected and I hope everyone who grabbed a copy enjoy’s Wal’s story! Extra thanks to those folks who came back before the con was even over to tell me they were already reading and really liking the book. You made this author’s day.
Discussing Lovecraft his writing, influences, and style with a number of attendees. I could do this forever.
Meeting new people, fellow authors, and the supportive SpoCon team.
Seeing all the cosplayers. As you can see from my pictures they were great. I’ll admit that I came into this with a bit of a bias towards bigger conventions. I didn’t expect the level of quality I saw. I was glad to be proven wrong. Incredible work by everyone.
Hanging out with my buddy Josh Montreuil. The guy is a talent. Expect some rad stuff from him in the future.
Talking with a veteran author about the publishing industry, writing, and all his experience over the years. As a guy just starting out it was great to talk with someone with so much experience. I found the whole conversation really encouraging.
Seeing my rad little sister experience her first sci-fi/fantasy convention. She came as Dave Strider from Homestuck on Friday and as Spine from Steam Powered Giraffe on Saturday—her costumes were incredible and she got tons of reactions as Spine. (You can see her below.)
Watching two guys try and figure out what they loved about the cover of The Stars Were Right and why they were so attracted to it. While I didn’t agree with their conclusion, I did appreciate their kind words. I’m pretty particular about cover design and my thoughts are pretty straightforward, I even wrote a whole post about it.