Last weekend was Chattacon 39. I was there in the dealers hall, meeting people, talking to them about stories, and selling books. Frankly, I was surprised at the number of people who wanted me to sign the books. I mean, who am I to someone who has never heard of my series before? It was very humbling.
Overall the experience was amazing. I met some fantastic people. The other vendors made me feel very welcome and even shared tips with me on how to do better. I met Allan from Dark Oak Press who gave me some advice on the book business itself.
I even was lucky enough to have friends and family from various places come and visit me. My friend Bruce even came all the way from Orlando to help me run the booth. He wasn't there the whole time, but his help was indescribably amazing. He even helped me create some new fans.
This photo warrants a story, so here is the simple version:
Bruce and I are sitting at the table when some 10ish year old girls walk past the booth with their guardian. Bruce says to them in a fake Russian accent, "Nice hat. You know what goes good with hat? Book."
This starts an explosion from the kids about how they have seen horror movies and such. I laugh and the group goes by. But then Bruce and I start talking about how awesome it would be for me, a DARK fantasy writer, to have a photo with some pre-teen fans. We even dreamed up a pre and post reading of the book photo. The first being the one that you see here. The second being one with them holding the book open and all of them crying, but with me still giving the thumbs up.
Bruce, being the shameless guy he is, walks up and asks the guardian if he can take a photo of me with the kids. The kids again erupt with excitement. One of the girls even says that she knows all the words to the song from the movie TED and starts singing something. We get them calmed down enough to take the photo, and then their chaperone says, "Ok. I will get a book."
We warn her again that the story is dark and filled with other "mature" material. Her response, "I will read it and decide if it is ok for them to read."
With that, I had new fans.
There is also the story about Roy.
On both Friday and Saturday of the convention, this little girl was running around the dealer's hall with a gentleman in tow. She was dragging him back and forth while she looked at all the interesting things in the room. A black table with some books on it just happened to be the least interesting thing to her. But, every time they past, I said hi to the gentleman and laughed at the kid's antics. Come Saturday, he eventually stops and asks about the books. We talk and by the end of the conversation, he is ready to give the story about Wrack a shot.
On Sunday, about 45 minutes after the dealer's room opens, Roy comes storming into the room. He looks pissed. He stomps up to my table and grabs a copy of Desecrated from the display, knocking things over. Slamming the book down and says, "Sell me the second one, you son of a bitch!"
We then had a good laugh about how Wracked kept him busy the night before, and he wanted to be prepared once it came to an end. His wife even stopped by later and thanked me for keeping him busy. Boy, I sure hope he is enjoying the story. Roy is a big fella.
Honestly, I have many more stories about Chattacon, but I can't tell them all here. I had a great time, and I do think that I am going to start going out to more shows.
Those of you who live far away from Atlanta don't get your hopes up, it may be a while before I can make it to any shows that are far away.
Until next time, keep reading.