It’s been a week since Balticon. I think I’ve recovered, although I was pretty exhausted going in due to a hectic week leading up to it. I had a lot of fun. Being my first con and my biggest author appearance to date, I had no idea what to expect. I’m very much an introvert. The idea of speaking in front of a group of people I don’t know makes me break out in a cold sweat. I think that’s why the panels I picked were primarily games, like a Cthulhu out of the hat and fantasy title chain. I figured if it was a fun thing, I’d be less nervous.
Based on feedback from some friends who attended my panels, I did very well, despite needed to project a little more. The game-like panels were a lot of fun and I got over my nervousness pretty quickly. I didn’t have a choice, actually. These were think on your feet, audience participation type panels, with lots of, shall we say, unusual topics and laughs. That helped put me at ease also. Plus everyone I met was incredibly nice. I met some experienced authors who were helpful and willing to share their knowledge and some authors just starting out who were interested in sharing ideas. There was definitely a “we’re in this together” vibe. And there were lots of amazing and strange costumes. One friend who is a costumer won the hall costume contest with her Japanese demon/dragon costume. (Go Amy!) I even went back on my free day and brought my four-year-old, who also enjoyed it and got to make a neat Mad Hatter hat at a children’s panel. Next year I might get a t-shirt with my book cover on it for her so she can be my adorable walking advertisement.
Two things I learned: 9 am panels and panels Friday afternoon (when people are arriving or trying to fight traffic to get there) are
not a good idea. I hope next year I can get some better times, but it’s hard being a mostly unknown author. With any luck that may change by 2013. Second, don’t expect to sell many books. Again, timing and being an unknown probably play a factor in this. I think next time I’ll go with the mindset of having fun, meeting new people, and networking. Maybe there will even be a costume involved.
I’ll post my A Cthulhu out of the Hat story later this week for your reading pleasure. I have to type it up. I’m not sure how it will read post-Balticon, but it sounded pretty good at the time. And I only had twenty minutes to write it. As far as I know, no Cthulhus were summoned.