So, even though it happened a little while ago, I wanted to talk about my experience with my first convention and how it went! Is that cool? No… too bad, I know you’re still reading. Muh ha ha ha…. Yes, that’s how I think. Sorry.
Anyway, my first convention I have ever done as an author was Salt Lake Comic Con 2016! Not going to lie, I was more than a little nervous. I had the terrible fear that no one would stop and talk to me, let alone buy my books. (I had just brought out Modern Titan right before the con). I was freaked out and didn’t know what to tell people and, when I got there, I found myself surrounded by veteran authors… boy, I felt a bit overwhelmed. But, my goodness, it really was incredible.
To set the scene, I was in Artist Alley (a mix of artists, authors and some crafts people). On my left were two awesome female authors named C.A. Hartman and Dawn Blair. If you haven’t heard of these women, you need to look into their books. They were so kind and willing to help a newbie in learning how to pitch my books without spending an hour describing them without giving everything away. We laughed, we pointed readers over to one another’s booths and I felt like I really learned a lot from them.
Behind me was the booth of J.S. Jaeger, a husband and wife duo who have been doing conventions for a while. Once more, you should look them up. That booth was a riot because with them were their daughters and friends and every time I turned around, they had a crowd around them as they were handing out books and swag to everyone who passed. I will admit, I taught those girls everything they know about getting people’s attention the Jersey way. So, if you go past them and one of their daughters shouts out, “Hey, how you doin’? Come’er!” You know they really learned something in Salt Lake City.
To my right was the sweetest women selling their art, chap stick and all sorts of amazing stuff. Not going to lie, I had a ton of people walk past me just to get to their booths… and that didn’t bother me at all. I loved how happy they were to see everyone and I just enjoyed talking to them. I’m hoping they send me an email here soon because I can’t find their cards and email them! So, if you’re reading this, send me an email, we need to chit chat!
Now, let’s actually talk about the Con! It was insane. I’m not going to lie, I probably told each of my books’ stories about 500 times a piece. All the ladies around me started laughing because I was losing my voice on the first day and they all told me that I needed to carry throat lozenges with me. Not a bad idea and I shall do so from now on. After a night of sleep, I rallied together and was able to finish the con with a loud and healthy voice.
The costumes I saw were incredible, the people were even more amazing. On several occasions, I was approached by future authors, illustrators and fans of literature. To tell you the truth, I was a bit in awe that someone would want to talk to me. Groups of twos, threes and even eights would just show up and ask about my books. What humbled me was when different individuals would ask for advice. Guess what? Most of the time I advised the same to these amazing readers and writers was that they needed to believe in themselves. That one little shred of advice will carry you so much further than anything else.
To my absolute excitement and joy, I was able to speak with several Native Americans from more than five, not one, but FIVE different tribes from the US. They were so nice and interested in A Campfire Nightmare (since it does have Native Americans in a piece of it). I met two Lakota women who actually offered me advice in using Native American creatures of legend, a Navajo man and his daughter, two women from the Ute Tribe, a woman from an Eastern tribe, and, to my surprise and amazement, several men from the Apache Tribe of New Mexico. The eldest member of the group of Apache men was actually the nephew of the Chief and, I can’t say this enough, I was humbled with speaking to him.
I respect and enjoy speaking with Native Americans about my books. I truly believe their culture is amazing and that they should not so easily be forgotten. I learned so much from the Apache man and hope I might be able to speak with him again. He recommended a book to me about the traditions of Native Americans and I look forward to studying it.
Again and again, I met amazing people and wish I could remember all of their names. I hope that I get to see each and every one of you again so I can thank you for the support and the time you took out to talk. Oh and if Michael is reading this, I hope your move went well and that you got everything set up!
This experience has given me the motivation to get out and do more conventions, hopefully with more books. If you have any questions or suggestion on my Comic Con experience or where I should go, let me know!
Keep reading and check out the works of my new friends!