Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Celebrity Roast

I think this is the best term for this past weekend. Memorabilia dealers, film professionals, gaming stores, and authors (mostly better known than me) set up shop during FandomFest Weekend in Louisville. Many celebrities, including John Carpenter, were featured guests of the convention. The program was great, but the hotel hosting the event shot itself in the foot. Their AC wasn't working during a time when the temperature outside was hitting 100 degrees.

Gwen and I were there representing Pill Hill Press, and dutifully baked away. Fortunately, we'd packed a cooler with water and Code Red, which was drained of all fluids by the end of the con. I suppose we could have sold drinks to the attendees and made a small fortune, but we selfishly valued our health above our bottom line. The first day was really the worst: we'd come directly from work and still had our work clothes on. The next two days, we wore shorts and tees. We'd packed nice clothes, but nice clothes were too hot. And hey, my Sandman tee was a big hit!

We weren't staying onsite, which was a splendid decision. We kept our room at the Holiday Inn set to 69 degrees and flopped on the bed every evening, feeling the heat leave us in waves.

The good part: the other writers. Gwen and I both attended - and sat in on - some wonderful panels. Gwen led a workshop on writing historical fiction, and she was also featured on panels for shopping your first novel and the mistakes beginning novelists make. I sat on the panels for paranormal novels and fan fiction, where I discovered that my first fanfic efforts probably began with The Black Stallion. I'd only traced my roots back to Betty and Veronica because I was thinking of human fanfic. Gwen and I both sat on the mystery panel, which was also great fun.

The other good part: the books. We were surrounded by book dealers. Oh, how I love books... I spent more money than we made, I assure you. The best selling items we had were our chapbooks of Gwen's Civil War short story and my horror story set in the Greek Isles. Overwhelmingly, however, the item passersby were most interested in was the postcard for zombie anthology Gone With The Dirt. I seriously think PHP might want to consider selling the cover design as posters or on T-shirts.

Many thanks must go to Stephen Zimmer for creating such an enjoyable literary track. He also spent most of his time trying to make life easier on us, rather than peddling his own books. I recommend that you go to Seventh Star Press and buy some of them to make up for his sacrifice.

1 comment:

Marian Allen said...

So great to see you and Gwen! I bought your chapbooks--BAD idea to schedule a con at the END of the month--and made note of many other books I want to get when I have money again.

All in all, I'd have to give FandomFest a big double-plus-good rating, in spite of the physical discomfort.

Marian Allen
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