Origins Game Con…helping out a friend promote his book
This past Saturday, I ventured up to Columbus and the Origins Gaming Convention, where my friend Ben Rogers and his wonderful PR Queen, Beth LaFond, had a table set up and were promoting Ben’s book, Faith and The Undead. This was the first experience of book signing for Ben, and was for me as well. I consider it something that will allow both of us to lay the groundwork for future cons, and more specifically, conventions that are more targeted toward the audience we are selling to.
Origins is what I suppose is a typical gaming convention, with a huge array of colorful characters walking around in costumes that consist of armor, spandex, leather, and a wide assortment of other materials that perhaps are not what you would typically see on the street these days. It was entertaining watching so many people dressed up as their favorite fantasy characters, although the Ghost Busters crew was also interesting. I can’t deny that the corsets and woman dressed in the naughty nurse outfit weren’t just a tad bit distracting, but some of the apparel was also highly amusing. But hey, I figure a convention like this gives folks a chance to let loose and have fun. My guess is that when I attend Horror Realm in September, chances are that I will be garbed like a zombie at least for one night, so who am I to judge?
Since I was only there on Saturday, I did get a taste of the convention experience, but I am sure that Ben and Beth are worn out after being their Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, where as I only had to show up and chat with some folks who came by the booth to see what Ben’s book was all about for a few hours. I don’t think either of them were thrilled with how the convention managers set up the authors (there were four that were supposed to have tables, I believe, but only a couple of them were there, and typically only for an hour or two, with very little product to promote to the convention goers). Ben had the table decorated and had quite a few books ready to sell to interested conventioneers. It was nice hearing him and Beth describe the book and give the audience an understand of what it is all about. What was also interesting was going to Ben’s reading of his book that afternoon. He actually read a few chapters and then some short stories and poems in the hour he had. He did an excellent job. I myself have been giving presentations my entire career, but somehow the idea of reading things of my own creation instead of speaking about some manufacturers new product or a new solution for a customer makes me feel like when my time comes, there will be plenty of butterflies.
Overall, I would have to say the experience was a blast. Given that we writers tend to live in our own worlds part of the time (that is inside our heads), and our connections to other members of the writing community tend to consist of message boards and on occasion Skype conference sessions late at night, it was terrific meeting a couple of people who I have not interacted with previously on a face to face basis. I feel like I am definitely part of a bigger thing than myself when we are all trying to get together and help one another to promote our books and “pimp” our stuff. There is a cohesion there because of our shared passion and that makes all the difference. As you may or may not have surmised, I do not spend my days and nights with other people who like zombies or give them much thought. The same goes with horror…science fiction and fantasy has been a bit more prevalent in my life, since I grew up with friends who enjoyed those genres immensely…but even with that, much of the interaction with others of a like mind is with people not in my own physical world. I am sure I could find a community of zombie fans here in Cincinnati, and my understanding is that Horror Hound is a convention occurring here probably in August that might be interesting to attend, but it was almost surreal having several people to chat with, face to face, about zombies and seeing that there passion is as great as mine on the subject. That was new, and probably the most exciting part of being at this convention.
Great experience and I can’t wait for my next convention…hopefully after my book comes out so I have something of my own to promote alongside Ben and whoever else I am with.