The Spring is apparently convention season for me. Norwescon was at the beginning of April and I just wrapped up a weekend in Portland at CthulhuCon PDX. I really enjoyed myself. The convention is an official spin-off from the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon it had a lot of great guests and I was honored to be apart of the festivities.
This was my first time at a convention doing more than just slinging books from behind my table. I not only did I do a reading, I also spent time signing books at the author’s signing, and I participated on a panel. This crowd was different than other conventions, there was zero cosplay which was surprising, and the crowd definitely skewed older. I also received some of the toughest questions I have ever been asked which was fun. You could really see the passion from the attendees. I really appreciated everyone’s excitement for weird fiction.
Books sales were solid, especially for such an intimate convention. If it had lasted four days like Norwescon 38, I would have sold out again. Still, even with the shorter time frame sales exceeded what I had expected. It was great to meet so many new readers and it was cool to see folks get excited about the world of The Bell Forging Cycle. It really made me eager to get Red Litten World out into the wild.
On to the highlights:
- Having the first person I talked to tell me they saw my book on the Lovecraft eZine, had already picked it up, and were excited to read it. If you’re a mythos fan and you’re not reading the eZine you should rectify that now. Mike Davis is a great guy and runs a good site.
- Doing my reading on Saturday night. This was my first Con reading and I loved it. I read the Prologue from The Stars Were Right in all its grisly detail. Afterward I had a reader approach me afterward and tell me it was not only beautiful, but it also encouraged him to pick up a copy.
- New friends and readers! Thanks to all you amazing people who picked up my book. Enjoy! Feel free to email me when you finish and let me know your thought. Also, please tell your friends and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads they help a lot.
- Meeting and talking with Matt and Cat from the Northwest Horror Podcast. Good folks. Cat recorded me doing my pitch, which was fun. I’m now a subscriber and working my way through past episodes.
- I loved being a member of the “Creating a Mythos” panel. Ross Lockheart was an excellent moderator and it was an honor to be up there with folks like Wilum Pugmire, Leslie S. Klinger, Paul Komoda, Justin Steele, and Sean Hoade. It was a fun discussion. Wish we had a lot more time for questions from the audience but we were all long winded. I know the panel was recorded, if it gets uploaded I’ll be sure to post it here.
- Hanging out with the other writers at the Carbload for Cthulhu signing. It was fun, and a nice change of pace.
- All you people who picked up on all the mythos references throughout Stars and then came and talked to me about them. I tend to Easter egg a lot of little details like that and it’s awesome when folks find them.
- The art show was fantastic. A lot of really great pieces. Thanks to my buddy Sky for dragging me away from the table. Was totally worth it.
- While I didn’t get a chance to see him live, Kari-Lise really liked Leeman Kessler’s Ask Lovecraft segment. Mr. Kessler is a wonderful actor and scholar and very entertaining. If you haven’t seen his portrayal of ol’ Howard Philip I encourage you to check out his youtube channel.
- Portland food. In particular Tiny’s coffee, Teote’s plate of pork belly, and Montage’s late night martini’s and macaroni.
- Portland people. Especially Sky and Zach, good dudes. Thanks for hanging out.
- I leveled up my table. (See the photo below.) I think the new banner looks real nice. Wouldn’t you agree?
- Having a guy stop by and buy a Bell Caravans patch specifically for his new OC cosplay. Looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.
- All the compliments I receive about the quality of my books. It’s really good to hear. I put a lot of time and effort into each of them so when it stands out to folks I get really excited.
- Hanging out with the lovely people in the The Mall of Cthulhu.
- Talking Machen with a fellow fan. Love the Machen.
Overall I came away really happy. Nice to see so many folks come together out of a love for a small segment of literature. Over the course of the con I had several times people asked me if I had read Neil Gaiman’s Hugo winning short story: A Study in Emerald. I haven’t! However, I will be rectifying that tonight. (For those who don’t know it’s a mashup of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraftian Mythos originally published in the anthology Shadows Over Baker Street.) It’s available to read it for free from Gaiman’s website.
I will be back. It was an honor to mingle with some of the greats and introduce a few folks to my own brand of Lovecraftian stories. I cannot say enough how exciting it is to see so many fans come together around a small microcosm of speculative fiction. It’s time now to forge ahead. Convention season isn’t quite over for me. In a few weeks it’ll be time for Josh Montreuil and me to descend upon Lilac City Comicon. In the meantime I have more books to write.