Don’t Step On the Cheeto

Now that I have you attention…..

I can finally get around to making my report on ConNooga 2015, which took place the weekend of February 27-March 1 at the Chattanooga Choo Choo and the Chattanooga Convention Center.

First off, I’d like to thank Robby Hilliard and his crew for organizing yet another wonderful Literary Track for the convention. He and they log hours of volunteer time just organizing things, not to mention moderating the author panels and providing ample opportunities for authors to bring attention to their work.

And now on to the report:

Friday: 044 I have to say, Rumple was one of the best costumes I saw the first day of the convention, although there were several just as well done. He was definitely in character… even called me “Dearie” when I asked to take his photo. (No those aren’t horns; those are the lights from The Gardens, the restaurant behind the lobby of the Chattanooga Choo Choo.)

It wasn’t until about a half hour before the dealer room closed that I found out from Robby that I was entitled to free table space as a guest author/panelist. I plan to ask about this ahead of time next year, since it is a policy that may change from one year to the next. I also need to remember to pre-register for next year’s convention to avoid the wait in the registration line. That will allow more time to take photos!

My reading was well received. I shared the hour with two other authors. The fourth had to cancel their attendance at the last minute because of illness. During the second author’s turn reading, we had to evacuate the building due to a fire alarm. The fog/smoke machine a band was using in their performance down the hall set it off. We were allowed back in shortly after to finish out the session. Considering the author was reading a very steamy scene about werewolf sex, we joked the excerpt was too hot. (I’d give his name, but I can’t remember it. I’m sadly lousy with names if they aren’t strikingly unusual or ones I use frequently.)

Friday night, there was a multi-author book release party. Books were sold. Amusing anecdotes were told and enjoyed. Alcohol was consumed (but not by me; I drive home every night from local conventions rather than pay for a hotel room). If you ever encounter Allan Gilbreath, ask him about when he worked in a nursing home; specifically, ask him about the old woman they called the Mamba. You will not be disappointed.

Saturday: 097 These ladies NAILED it!

There are way too many pictures to post them all on this blog. If you’d like to see them all, here is the link for my album of the convention on FaceBook:   https://www.facebook.com/tamara.lowery.9/media_set?set=a.817107325004168.1073741842.100001147240611&type=3

Saturday and Sunday I shared table space with Rocky Perry, author of the Luke Banderloft series. I had two panels, but otherwise spent most of the day in the dealer hall tending my table or wandering around on a costume hunt. I sold four copies of Blood Curse, half of what I sold at this same convention last year but still a good deal. I gathered some leads for marketing ideas and information that I plan to follow up on.

I also learned that evil wears pink. Those who fell victim to her at the convention know what I’m referring to.

The highlight of the lit track every year is always the Plot or Die panel. This year, I have video evidence. The only thing that kept it from being crazier was that Robby refused to further contribute to the delinquency of the authors with a second round of drinks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhwguOS8GJI

Because of his partner in crime not finding out until not long before the con that he would be able to attend after all, Rocky did not host a Pirate Party during the room parties this year. That being said, there was no shortage of supplies of loud music and booze in hotel three. I stayed out by the pool area and took pictures as people wandered from one party to another. Very crowded, and treacherous footing due to the cobbles, raised pavers around the landscaping, and mud IN the landscaping from the snow melt. In other words, the usual insanity.

Sunday: 004 This costume made me very happy. I love Calvin and Hobbes.

I spent the entire time in the dealer room, since I didn’t have any panels scheduled for Sunday. I didn’t have any more book sales, but I enjoyed visiting with friends, hunting costumes, and doing a little shopping.

Over all, it was a great con.

(Oh, and if anyone is wondering how I got the title for this post: I threw out half a bag of old, old Cheetos for the birds the other day. When we went to get in the car for an errand, my husband cautioned me not to step on a Cheeto.)

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