Until last year, I’d never attended a comic convention. It was on a whim that my husband and fellow author Andrew found out last year that there was going to be a comicon in our area in October. Tidewater Comicon, the first of its kind in our area.
Andrew then asked me would we like to sign up for a table and sell our books there? I said sure, it was worth a try to meet other people and get our names out there! I wasn’t entirely sure that my historical fiction and young adult books might sell well (Andrew writes science fiction, adventure and fantasy) but it was worth a try!
More than that, it would be a fun experience because I’d never been to a con before. I’d heard of them before, but had never attended one.
That first con, held in October last year, was one of the most fun Saturdays we had had in a while. Not only did we get our names out there like we had hoped (we sold out almost all of our books! Note I said our books. Even my young adult and historical fiction stories), but there was something else that I enjoyed about being there: seeing so many people who were all showing off their passions for something.
When we heard that they were going to hold another one in April of this year, this time spread over two days instead of one, we signed up for a table again. And this time, between the two of us, Andrew and I had even more books to sell. I only had two books, False Cape and Elodie and Heloise, to sell in October. Between then and now, I put out three more: Bienvenue, Dominique, and Back Bay. I was so excited to sell them to people! Having more books means that you look more like a serious author. And having put out ALL those books, False Cape and Elodie and Heloise, in three years is even more impressive. I’ve encountered many authors who spend years working on just one book.
The fact that the con was going to be across two days instead of just one meant that we would have even more of an opportunity to sell our books. I love having our books to sell online, but being able to engage with people one-on-one about our stories and have them put a face to the name on the book cover makes all the difference. You can see the person who put their time and effort into creating that book that you’re holding your hand.
Something new happened at this con that didn’t happen before: Andrew and I had repeat customers.
This time, we had people coming to our table asking us if we were at the last one. And occasionally, someone would tell us, “Yeah we bought one of your books last time and now you have more? I’ll take that one, please!” Sometimes, we had people approach the table who had bought something from us last time and wanted to tell us how much they loved our stories! Sometimes, those same people were chatting with us for so long that other people would come up to see our wares and they would recommend our book to them! One guy told us he loved the dinner scenes in my book False Cape because it brought him back to being a kid and sitting around the dinner table with his family. Another teenaged girl gushed to her friend, who joined her some minutes later, about how awesome our books were and that he needed to buy them!!! Her enthusiasm made me smile. And it was moments like that that made me happier than anything! It’s really something to see that people are enjoying what we write!
More than that, it was so great to see all the people dressed as different characters. I had a lot of fun picking out who was who. I didn’t get all of them, but that’s OK. By the second day, I was taking more pictures, which I will include here!
As a disclaimer, if you happen across your picture here and want me to remove it, let me know and I will.
Of all the characters I saw, I saw the most amount of people dressed as Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. I kind of figured. Those characters are still pretty popular.
There was also Groot and Starlord from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Lots of Star Wars characters, including a funny moment in front of our table when two Princess Leias encountered each other and stopped for a group picture!
And of course Doctor Who. Many Matt Smiths and David Tennants. Saw a few Fourth Doctors too (I had to look up which number because I recognized them as one of the Doctors but I didn’t know which number. I’m still new to all of that!) I’ll never forget a David Tennant who stopped at our table, “scanned” our bookcase with his sonic screwdriver, then turned to us and told us that our books were OK. Then, on the second day, the girls in the booth next to us dressed as the 9th, 10th, and 11th doctors, respectively. As you can imagine then, when other Doctor Who-related characters came by, the girls had their pictures taken with them!
Various Disney princesses too walked around, such as Belle, Ariel, and Snow White. Speaking of Snow White, there was the Evil Queen, who stopped to offer a Snow White a little treat.
Then there was a Belle. I was taken back to when my mom made me a Belle costume (the yellow dress she wears when she dances with the Beast) for Halloween when I was a kid!
There were also a few Ariels, including these two. Hey, Ariel’s my girl, of course I’m going to get pics of Ariel cosplayers!
There was also a Daria, which thrilled me to no end. I love that show! When I saw her walking by, I ran out from behind our table and managed to catch her to get a picture.
Game of Thrones characters made an appearance too. A Melisandre stopped at our table and bought some of my books. I didn’t get a pic of her, but Andrew did here. She was accompanied by a Jon Snow who must have gone without his glasses for the day. He kept holding his phone close to his face in order to read the screen! Several Daeneryses also walked by too, all holding little dragons of course!
I supposed that I could’ve gotten into the spirit and dressed as something, and in fact, I almost did! At the last possible moment after the first day, actually. I thought of wearing a Renaissance-style dress that my mom made for me in high school and going as a slightly more obscure character, Cecily Neville Duchess of York, the mother of three English kings during the War of the Roses. (I read about her because she and I share the same name. Hey, there aren’t as many Cecilys as there are other names, so finding out that a major historical figure shares my name is really cool!)
Except that…… well, I would have wanted to put a little more effort into making it look authentic. Like with a headdress of some sort. In all the pictures I’ve seen of Cecily Neville, she wore a headdress like the one below.
And who has a headdress like this lying around these days?
So I scrapped it and instead wore one of my vintage style dresses with some newly bought Tardis earrings from the booth next to me. Which I got compliments on all day!
I think what I loved most about being at the con was getting to see so many different characters and talking with people about my passion for writing. Andrew and I were sad when it was all over. Getting to talk with people about our books and selling them to people, not to mention seeing all sorts of characters walking by our table, was such a fun experience. I liked seeing people who were showing off their love for a favorite TV show, movie or comic. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized that it’s important to have a passion. It gives you something else in your life besides the usual routine of work and everyday life.
Plus, it’s fun! And don’t we all need a little fun in our lives?