It seemed a good idea at the time, so I signed up for a table at Fantasycon, it’d give me a chance to sell my books etc.
Finally the great day came, I loaded the car and drove the four hours it takes me to get to Scarborough, arriving in time to grab one of the last cheap car-parking places. So far so good.
I grabbed something to eat, then signed in, was escorted by red-shirts to my table on dealer alley and started to, quite literally, set out my stall.
So the con itself?
Well run, there was always plenty on. At times as we lounged at our tables on dealer alley it was a bit like being back at school. At the turn of the hour you’d see everybody pour out of one workshop or interview and scurry down the corridor to the next, clutching bundles of books, notes, freebees and suchlike as they went.
Watching from the semi-detached position of a dealer, it was obvious that there was a lot going on and there was plenty for people to enjoy. To be honest, from the dealers’ point of view, a couple of periods of tedium, relieved by retail therapy, could have been useful, but I’m not sure that’s a suggestion that would meet with much widespread enthusiastic acceptance.
By Saturday afternoon people were starting to flag. We were on the balcony and at one point I looked over to the entrance hall below to see arm chairs filled with dozing convention goers.
One small sadness for me, I saw very few cosplayers.
But as evening arrived everybody seemed to get their second wind. I was unchained from my table and unleashed on the convention. One nice thing about this event is that dealers were welcomed into the events. I’ve been to some where a dealer badge allows you to your table and that is it. But I had a chance to attend a number of fascinating interviews and readings during the evenings.
I also gave a poetry reading. Now whilst I am not a poet, I took some of the verses penned by Tallis Steelyard and read them. They were politely received by a courteous audience.
I had also been booked down to do a reading from one of my books. Given that this reading was at 11pm, I was a bit worried about whether there would be anybody else present, and if present whether they’d be both awake and sober.
Fortunately I was sharing the slot with Kit Power. If anybody doesn’t know Kit, check him out on his horror column at http://www.gingernutsofhorror.com/my-life-in-horror.html
He read a cracking story which is available in the anthology ‘Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers.’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Easter-Eggs-Bunny-Boilers-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01AMSYLUO/
Free on kindle so if you’re into horror get it now.
Anyway Kit is much better organised than I am and fetched with him enough sober and wide awake people to pass as a respectably sized audience. Our readings went well, nobody threw anything, and we all enjoyed ourselves.
Sunday, exhausted, I packed up my stall at 1pm as dealer alley closed for the last time and loaded everything into the car for the long trip home.
A good weekend, met a heap of nice people, sold a decent number of books and had a lot of fun. I recommend the experience.