Shoppacon, The Sequel: Shops With A Red Pen

Last week I talked to you about all of the books I bought at Supercon and one of the authors I got to meet. I was really surprised by the number of start-up authors at the convention, but if you are self-published I guess it’s a great way to build up a fan base.

Two of the authors I talked to were also dressed in costume. Actually, what’s the correct terminology here? Is it called Cosplay if you are not competing?

The second author table I purchased from was manned by a young woman named Berti Walker. I might have missed her booth altogether except she was wearing a fantastic Goblin King costume and was holding an adorable baby in pink striped pajamas. After the standard Labyrinthine greeting was exchanged I noticed that there were books on her table. (I’m also a sucker for babies, FYI.)

Berti described one of her novels, In Case of Emergency, Aim For The Head, as being about a zombie outbreak in a small town.
She also had a collection of short stories and poems called Cyborgs & Sirens, a potentially naughty book called Alice In Wanderlust, and another with a bit of profanity in the title. (Since we’ve agreed this is a PG-13 community in public I’ll just let you follow the link.)

I bought the short story book to start. I’m always interested to see how much mileage people get out of a minimum of words. I haven’t read all of the stories yet, but it’s solid writing. I’ll definitely pick up the zombie book.

The next couple of authors I came upon didn’t interest me. One wrote romantic fantasy, not my bag. Another summarized one of his books as far-future Dark Noir which normally would interest me, but when he gave me more details it sounded like on of those lone hero stories where they throw everything at the guy for the shock and awe factor.

There was one writer who did not verbally pitch his storyline, but handed me a glossy promo card that described both books in the series. The con was at max chaos and volume by this point and my brain could barely process the words I was reading. But I did notice that his characters’ main antagonists were Nephilim and it was spelled wrong (Nephilin). His books were the highest price I’d seen by that point and the misspelling put me off. If it had just been on the promo card I could have let it go, but it was printed on the back of the book as well. I feared the misspelling wasn’t a typo but a misunderstanding and I could not read an entire book with that kind of flaw.

Then I spotted a mermaid.

The adorable writer behind the table was partially in costume. Her dark hair had been glitterized by some violet hair product and I’m fairly certain she was wearing a cape. Behind her were images of mermaids. She had two books on offer – one a mermaid tale, the other pirates – so I bought them both. The sea of people were trying to push me away so I barely got to exchange words with her. It wasn’t until the next day I noticed her name on the books was not a name. She goes by the moniker “My World“.

I’m not sure why someone would do that – not use their name, or at least a name. I mean, I guess if you are under witness protection or hiding from an insane ex you wouldn’t want your name on the lips of the public, but at least pick a pen name that is a name. You could even go zany like Lemony Snicket or Obert Skye; My World is not distinctly memorable.
She seemed like a sweet, enthusiastic young woman. I hope she finds success. I haven’t read any of the book yet, but mermaids.

One thing that all of the authors at conventions have in their favor is accessibility. They have a chance to do more than schill their stories, they get to make an impression on readers and potential readers. I was so dizzy from the experience of being at the con (once it got into full swing) that I was operating at a lower than normal brain function. I bought Berti’s book (and remembered her) more because she sang “The Babe With the Power” with me and let me play with her daughter’s toesies. I bought My World’s books because she had mermaids and pirates and an effusive smile. I passed on Dark Noir guy more because he was hawking passersby and handing out business cards like a car salesman. When he talked about his book there was no emotion – he was quoting from a list. This is your book man! Having been haunted by unfinished novels of my own, I know what it takes to write one. It should be personal. And, Hell’s Bells, make sure the cover has been thoroughly spell-checked. Be memorable. Be friendly. Be enthusiastic!

So my lovely Flames – if you had to write under a pen name, what would it be?
Talk to me about your convention encounters with other authors.

You should be writing for week one of the July mini-contest, “Knothole“.

Shane won May & Jun (CONGRATS!) please beat him in July or he may begin putting on airs and demanding that we call him Sir.

Sorry I’m a day late guys, Cedarwolfsinger will be up later with another article for your reading pleasure.


About t.s.wright

Writer, reader, casual photographer, nature-lover, dog mom. I grew up in a tree, inside a book, whispering possible futures into discarded seed pods that curled up and exploded each summer. One day, they cut down my tree and I was forced to go to school while waiting for the replacement trees to grow strong enough to hold me. But while we waited, I grew too heavy and awkward to climb, so I had to get a job. I spent my days surrounded by flimsy walls covered in carpet that made boxes and people who forgot to look out windows. I worked really hard. Possibilities were replaced with formulas and exactitude. Eventually I forgot how to climb a tree...and how to smile. Then one day, a dog licked my foot excessively and I remembered smiling. That reminded me of more things that didn't cost money and couldn't be tallied in a spreadsheet - like hugs and love and being happy. So I found myself a Steve who reminded me what home was. Then we filled it and our hearts with dogs. Eventually we planted our own tree, together. Even though I'm happy right here, right now, I remembered that we all need possibilities to dream of, so I've started writing them down.
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5 Responses to Shoppacon, The Sequel: Shops With A Red Pen

  1. Mermaids! And babies? I’ve really got to visit a con.

    I love the author in the Goblin King costume 🙂 And I can see how all this would be incredibly overstimulating. Did you have to sleep all the next day to recuperate?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Weekend Wrap-Up- | Brigit's Flame Writing Community

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