Captain’s Log: Con Nooga X

I’ll start by saying that, although I didn’t attend many panels nor serve on any, I did enjoy Con Nooga X. I spent the majority of my time in the Exhibitor Hall at my table. I’m glad to say the organizers did place tables along the outer walls this year. Last year nothing was placed along the wall on the last row, and many con goers didn’t realize there WERE tables on that row to browse and shop at. I will have to remember next year to request electricity for my table so I can power my laptop or recharge my phone (which I use for my card reader). I also plan to watch the website for when preregistration opens in order to (hopefully) get a more central table instead of one on the last row.

My book sales were poor. I only sold two copies of Blood Curse, not enough to cover the price I paid for my table. Seeing and hearing how book sales were at other author tables (we weren’t all on one row this year, but scattered about the room), I’m not sure if this was due to my prices (something I have very limited control over/ I am NOT self-published), the genre mix of my books, or my sales pitch. I’m thinking it was mostly due to the genre mix. Sometimes you just don’t get the right audience.

I did encounter several who seemed to like the idea behind the stories, but only two with the funds and the willingness to purchase copies. Several showed interest in the ebook versions, but I won’t know if the interest will result in any online sales until I get the royalty report for the first quarter from my publisher.

I also have gotten good feedback, both at the convention from a current reader who didn’t have the funds to get the next book in their journey through the series yet, and from a coworker who’s recently embarked on the same journey. This feedback came at a most needed time, since the poor sales at this convention and the previous convention dealt a blow to my confidence as an author.

If you follow an author and enjoy their work, PLEASE TELL THEM. It will help guarantee they continue to provide you with the stories you enjoy.

Back to the convention: the costume hunt this year was very successful. I think I took over 200 photos during the three days of the con. You can see them here, even if you don’t use FB.

I also took this little video of the cutest little Jedi I’ve ever seen.

I only attended a few panels, as I stated earlier. One was with Martin Klebba who played Marty in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He talked about his work not only on the Pirates movies but as a stunt man, how he got into acting, and his dream of becoming a police officer if/when they ever do away with the height restriction.

I attended the Dark Princess Theatre panel/show in which Lady Gwendolyne (Hope Holloway) explained how she, as an undead professional Black Widow, goes about selecting her next vict… er husband, and the order and speed with which to marry and dispose of him once he meets her standards (rich, landed, no close relatives to get nosy). During the show, her first prospective victim from the audience left once he realized this was NOT a burlesque show, and she would not be getting naked.

Hope and her husband, John, also act as guides for the Chattanooga Ghost Tours.

Another panel I attended was “This One Time at a Con.” This one got pretty raunchy, not visually mind you, but in the stories related. One of the panelists became known as “The Man Who Kicked Jayne” for drunkenly kicking Adam Baldwin in the nuts after getting snubbed by the actor in favor of a couple of hotties when seeking an autograph. There were also stories of sex, both with celebrities and in semi-public places; BDSM in the hallway at a con run by some rather conservative organizers; room party stories such as one of the panelists commonly known as “the Dude” encountering a naked chick with a supersoaker filled with booze at a party, leading to a drunken black out and coming to ad-libbing ala MST3K some crappy TV show next to Seth Green; encountering Dr. Rocksoff, a local entertainer at one time, back at Con Nooga 6, in full clown makeup but naked from the neck down just as he jumped into the pool… the outdoor pool… in FEBRUARY; and another story about the Dude when he had a bowling bag dispenser filled with White Russian. Before the panel could even get under weigh, however, we had to relocated to another room. We were too loud for the drag queen panel in the next conference room. About midway through the panel, we were invaded by clowns.

This was the first Con Nooga in a few years where I didn’t attend any of the room parties personally. It turned cold Saturday night, and I didn’t have a very warm version of my pirate garb on.

The one event I wanted to attend but missed was Friday night’s Radio Cult concert. The event preceding it did not clear the stage on time. In fact, they ran at least 45 minutes over or more. (I know this because that’s how long I waited before I gave up and went home. Had to make sure I got enough rest before coming back out the next morning to man my table.)

I will be back at Con Nooga next year.

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