Valentine's day weekend I found myself at AnachroCon in Atlanta. This is a steampunk convention that I believe had their fifth year this year. For this show, they decided to try something new, and take most of the authors, musicians, and artists and give them a room all to themselves. They called it "The Salon". I have never been at a convention that had done something like this before, and I got invited to the con only a week before it was supposed to happen. It was all a grand adventure.
The first day we got almost no traffic in the salon. By the end of the night it really just turned into me and Mark Helwig hanging out chatting about writing and art. Even when a band started playing in the salon, only a handful of people came through.
The next was much better. There were many more events and most of the people with tables attended the room between their panels. I was seated between Jana Oliver and the folks from Sekwana Comics. Jared Jameson from Sekwana and I spent a lot of time talking about conventions and marketing. AnachroCon was their first convention, and with their alternate civil war history comic series - it seemed to be a good fit. Jana spent a lot of time going to panels, and so I mostly got to chat with her husband, who is a lovely fellow. He even bought a copy of Wracked.
I did get the chance to talk to several people about my series, and made some new fans. Rhia seemed drawn over to my stark looking table with gleefully wide eyes, bringing her mother and Josh in tow. The moment I told them the series was dark fantasy, Rhia blurted out, "Ok, I'm sold." I laughed and continued telling them about the story and the characters. By the time they left my table, both Josh and Rhia had signed copies of Wracked.
I also met two young ladies from Augusta, and for the life of me I cannot remember their names, but they were aspiring authors and told me about how they actually write together. They said that their styles were even starting to blend together. I found this fascinating. In my experience writing is really a lonely journey, with only the fleeting moments of collaboration between a writer and their editor. The idea of having someone simultaneously writing and editing work work as you go is very curious. Unfortunately, these two ladies never returned to my table so that I could ask more questions about their process. Perhaps I will see them again at another convention.
That night a podcast started recording in the salon on prohibition. Within an hour, the room was half filled with slightly drunken podcasters and their audience. Just about the time they were wrapping up, the room became flooded with people in costumes and photographers taking pictures of said costumes. Quickly the room became a bit of a party. What was odd about this was that we who had tables were told that the room would shut down and be locked by 7:30pm. However, the podcast didn't end until after 8, and when I left the room for the night - there was still more people than I had seen all weekend. Mostly costumes, models, and photographers doing what they do.
Sunday rolled around and my friends at Sekwana Comics had left to go to another show down in Macon. The room was quiet again for most of the day, seeing a burst of traffic during the swing dance class and shortly after that group of people left the room, it became nearly vacant. Most of the other authors either had panels or they decided to pack up and leave. Mark, was on panel for the last 2 hours of the show. Eventually, it was just me in there with Mark's stuff. I decided to pack up and let security know that Mr. Helwig's stuff was going to be in there alone, then I stayed until there was someone to watch his things.
Overall, I had great time. I really enjoy getting to meet people and talk about my series, writing, even just the creative spirit that seems to flow through all the wonderfully strange folks who attend these shows.