To be honest, it was a huge disappointment. The few highlights included meeting a very talented artist, Carter M. Reid and his wife. Carter has a web comic (as well as a couple of MUST HAVE books) that you can find out about over on thezombienation.com if you need a good chuckle. He also does zombie portraits while his wife makes some krazykool jewelry.
|Carter M. Reid killed me!|
While the convention "raged on" over in the DoubleTree, the dealer room was stuffed in a room across the driveway with no signage to even let people know it existed. Also, it was not open to the public, so basically it was everybody working in the dealer room wandering around and seeing what other people WERE NOT selling. Yes, a few people did actually find us. And I met some super people who were more than happy to chat and snag a few freebies. I even sold three or four books, but it came nowhere near covering the $200 price tag for the table I sat behind for four days. Admittedly, at first I just thought it was my table that was a bust, but kitty-corner to me sat Mark Tufo, John O'Brien and Shawn Chesser...a trio of Amazon Top 100 Horror Authors. They spent their time telling jokes to each other and stopping over at my table to ask if I wanted a coffee when they went out for one.
|Jaime Johnesee and her husband stopped in!|
I did get to meet a few people that I have only spoken to via messaging and email like Jaime Johnesee. For me, that was a real blast. I also met the sword swinging "Army of Darkness" zombie lady, Dana Fredsti. She even picked up a freebie copy of That Ghoul Ava: Her First Adventures and the sample excerpt from DEAD: The Ugly Beginning when she and Craig DilLouie stopped by and visited for a moment. As a HUGE Evil Dead fan, I was beyond thrilled and might have gone a little bit "fanboy" when she stopped in front of my table. DiLouie was beyond polite and made me like him even more just by how genuine and nice he came across.
|Highlight reel moment! I got to meet Dana Fredsti!|
I did manage to catch a few panels. Some were beyond pointless, but a few had great nuggets of knowledge (like the podcast panel with Derek M. Koch, host of the Monster Kid Radio podcast). Overall, it just felt like an HWA (Horror Writer's Association) ass-patting session. And if you were not in that inner circle, then you rated somewhere between the stuff scraped off a shoe and elevator flatulence. Yes, I could do an entire post about the treatment that I received (or did not receive) by that organization, but dead horses are best left to rot in the sun.
If I had it to do over, I would have scrapped the dealer table and hit a few more panels. I did miss a few that I really wanted to attend because I stayed posted up at my table in the hopes that somebody would come by. And I did have a few people come by that showed genuine interest. (Ava garnered some attention which was wonderful since she is the series that I want to push hard as DEAD gets closer to the end.)
Final thoughts...the convention as a whole was a bust. The few people that I did get to meet were mostly wonderful. I only got snubbed by one writer who I REALLY idolized. I met him after one of the few panels that I did manage to attend, and he assured me that he would stop by the Dealer's Room so I could get him to sign something and take a photo...but ended up being a no-show.