Blog No. 233
It turns out that last year, I only got half the Shock Stock experience. That thought is leaving me reeling since the last time I was completely wiped out. The convention is busy, hectic, and a bit wild, and it goes for three days. What I found out this year was that when the day’s events end, the evening’s parties start. Boy, do those Shock Stock people know how to party. Since the convention was in a hotel this year, and nearly everyone was staying in that hotel, as soon as the day was wrapped, the parties started. Official, unofficial, after, after-after, and after-after-after parties went way latter than I could last. The entire hotel was overrun.
One thing to keep in mind with Shock Stock. The horror convention full of freaks, weirdos, and fiends (myself included) is just about the nicest, most inclusive group of folks I’ve ever spent a weekend with. More than once I would be walking back to my hotel room and be pulled aside to be given a beer, or just to chat. When folks would come up to the table to ask about the book, they seemed genuinely interesting. Most people there are regulars who all know each other. They have a long history, but actively seek to include everyone there. At least they did with me. Maybe I’m just special (or they felt sorry for me)?
Either way, the people are the best thing about Shock Stock. It’s been nearly a week and I’m still tired. On Monday, I went to boxing, and all the beer, the late nights, and long days made everything twice as difficult. I’m not terribly well as it is, so all those debaucherous activities took their toll. It may be weeks before I’m fully recovered. Thankfully, it was all worth it. While I didn’t sell as much as
I’d like, since I was a guest, the cost wasn’t terribly steep. I managed to get the hotel room covered, so I was just stuck with food cost and my half of the fuel to get there and back. I may have spent a lot on coffee and some stuff from other vendors too.
What I didn’t make in cold hard cash, I made up in fun. Taking more of an active part in activities this year really helped. I have a bunch more friends on facebook and a heap of memories. I would have been able to sell more, if I had another book out. I suppose that’s my own fault (though I’d prefer to blame my day job, even thought it pays for all my expenses). Christian even sold completely out of The Space Between Houses. Like all of them.
It’s a lesson I need to heed. I had a lot of people tell me they would have bought a new book if there was one. Even if half those people did, I would have come away from the event clean. If I can get my act together and get this novella out, I’m pretty sure I can do one a year, making sure at least something new is being released. As it stands, if I get invited back to Shock Stock, I should have at least two new books (plus whatever Christian finishes). For now, it’s back to work. Even though I just want to sleep until next Shock Stock.
Up next is the very exciting first ChiWindsor Reading on Wednesday May 24th! Come out to Phog and hear international best selling author Nick Cutter, the award winning Michael Rowe, and Windsor’s own author, publisher, and entrepreneur, Justine Ally Dowsett. With special musical guest Brendan Scott Friel!