Captain’s Log: HallowCon 2017

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I will say right now that I thoroughly enjoyed my first attendance of HallowCon, and I will definitely add this convention to the list of those I regularly attend.

JoeDog McKeel’s first chairing of this con was a success despite all the last minute obstacles which popped up (mostly in the form of passive aggressive resistance from the hotel). Needless to say, HallowCon will be in a different location next year, as unwelcome as the convention and con-goers were made to feel.

I did not have a room at the hotel, being local and able to go home every night; so I will not go into detail on the complaints I heard from those who did book rooms. I will, however mention observations I made about the common areas.

First off, the lack of working electrical outlets along the hallway used for Author’s Alley was aggravating. These were working the day before the con started but not at all during the entire weekend. Thankfully, a working outlet was discovered in the breakfast area at the end of the hall, and a charging station could be set up for members and guests to keep their devices operational.

Some might say, “Who needs to be on their phone/tablet/laptop during a convention?” Please keep in mind, those of us there to sell our works/products often use our devices in tandem with card reading apps to allow us to make credit sales as well as cash sales.

The one other thing I found troubling about the venue was the lack of a handicap accessible bathroom stall in the restroom just off the lobby for common area use. How is that legal and up to code?

All that aside, the con was a blast and a much needed break from Mundania. Being a Halloween convention, there was no lack of cosplay and costuming. (The difference between those terms is whether a costume represents a specific character/creature or just a generic style of costume.) I made a few new friends and reconnected with some old ones.

There were also a few missed opportunities I wish I had taken.

Across the hallway and just a little catty-corner from my table spot was the author/media guest, Santiago Cirilo (Julio from season 4 of The Walking Dead). I never really tried to introduce myself or get to know him. I know I may come across as bold and outgoing sometimes, but I can find my introverted side taking dominance when faced with someone with genuine celebrity. I also allowed myself to be intimidated by his energy and exuberance. Still, what I observed of him leads me to believe he is a genuinely nice person. I hope he will forgive my shyness.

The Charity Auction this year benefitted the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. JoeDog and Donna McKeel chose this charity in honor of their granddaughter, who suffers from this condition. Joe added an additional 10% of the total funds raised by the auction to the donation. At the last report I heard, $1000 was raised just in the auction. I donated a full set of books.

As for the Con Suite, I must say this was the best food I’ve ever had at a convention.

My sales weren’t great, but they were better than at some conventions I attended earlier this year. I had a total of one customer, but she bought a full set of the series.

This marked my second time to attend a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the first time to see one with a shadow cast acting out the movie along with it. Quite the experience, I must say.

Yes, I did the Time Warp again.

This audience was a bit more raucous than the one I previously viewed it with at Chattacon a couple of years ago.

As expected, a large number of guests and con-goers departed early on Sunday. Some came from as far away as Mississippi to attend this con and had to be back to work Monday morning.

I’m looking forward to next year.

I’d like to give a quick shout out to Edwin Morgan. He was promoting/recruiting for the Catoosa County 2017 Film Festival which will be in Ringgold, GA December 1-3. I wish I could attend, but I’ve exhausted all my paid time off for this year. Hopefully, I’ll have some to spare for next year. Also, it was some of his brood who kept raiding the candy and pirate swag (plastic coins, Mardi Gras beads, and glass pebbles) I placed out as freebies. I received several thank you hugs from one of his daughters.027

Don’t let the cute mini-Harley outfit fool ya; she’s a pirate at heart.

If you want to see more pics from the con, I have them up on FB here.

 

Please Stand By

I promise I will post a full report on HallowCon by this coming weekend. 11 hour work shifts and other concerns have had to take priority.

Also, for financial reasons, I will probably NOT be attending ConNooga in 2018. I WILL be at Chattacon; I already have a table reserved in the Dealer Hall. I just don’t think I’m going to be in a position to afford doing two cons that close together next year.

State of the Book

Maelstrom of Fate is now available in print format on Amazon, at least. It may take a few days to show up on Books-A-Million or Barnes and Noble. The only reason I can come up for why it or last year’s The Daedalus Enigma haven’t shown up on Kobo is the erotica tag both books received on Smashwords. Just a theory, though.

Make no mistake; the books are NOT erotica, but they both have at least one scene which falls in that category. I am the first to admit I did not write this series for children or the overly sensitive/easily offended.

Meanwhile, I’m considering adding a character profile for Hell’s Breath Island. The island is sentient, and it’s personality does make itself known in these last two books. I found a great photo to use for it on one of the pirate groups I’m a member of on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Patrick Yanaton; used with permission.

Hell's Breath-photographer Patrick Yananton

Don’t forget to come by Hallowcon October 27-29 if you’re in the Chattanooga area then. I will be offering signed copies of all my books for less than the current retail. Some of the prices are just the original retail rates and/or convention bundle discounts. The printer my publisher uses raised their rates back in September. Maelstrom of Fate will retail at $18.99, but I will be selling copies for $15+tax at Hallowcon ONLY. Starting next year at Chattacon (which has moved from the Chattanooga Choo Choo to The Chattanoogan) all single copy prices and bundle discount prices will reflect the new retail rates.

I will produce and post three new excerpt readings videos in the coming month or so (as free time allows) for Maelstrom. I also plan to add it to my Take a Pirate Home for Christmas ad campaign and will probably do a video for that, as well.

Maelstrom of Fate Ebook Release!

Maelstrom of Fate is now live as an ebook. Print edition will follow soon. I’ve added the purchase links for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords to the book’s landing page. (Just click on the Books and Short Stories button in the menu and follow the drop down to the bottom.) If you are searching for the book on Smashwords without using the link on this site, you will have to disable all parental controls to find it. Like The Daedalus Enigma last year, it received an Erotica tag which blocks it from general viewing.

I’ve already sent out .pdf copies to a couple of reviewers. If you are a reviewer and would be interested in reviewing this book, please let me know in the comments here or on my Facebook page.

I am also contacting my publisher to get the title corrected on the Amazon link. I found it listed as Maelstrom of Fatex (Waves of Darkness Book 8). It is, in fact, book 7; and there is no “x” anywhere in the title. I haven’t even started seriously plotting an 8th book yet. That will be part of the next story arc, Search for the First. (Book 7 concluded the Sisters of Power story arc.)

Maelstrom of Fate proposed coverAlso, a quick reminder; I will have copies of all seven titles at HallowCon in East Ridge, TN, October 27-29. I will be offering signed copies of Maelstrom of Fate at below retail as a convention special.

Long-running Scripts Suck Ditch Water

Finally was able to make this post. All weekend I’ve been unable to access the add post feature on this site due to a long running script which resulting in WordPress not responding.

I am nearly through going over the PDF my publisher sent me for approval for Maelstrom of Fate. Once I get it back to them and the needed corrections are made, it should be on to publication. I should definitely have print copies available for HallowCon. I have ten copies each of the previous six titles already on hand to take to the con with me. As is my usual practice, I will be offering convention exclusive book bundle deals.

I also added a landing page under the Books and Short Stories tab for Maelstrom of Fate. It only has the blurb and the cover art right now. I will add purchase links, video readings, and reviews as they become available.

Maelstrom of Fate proposed cover

Book Report & Pricing

The original artwork is now in my publisher’s hands, and I’ve already received a proposed cover to approve. Progress is being made.

Next step: editing.

Also, pricing on the print editions will be going up. I was informed last week that LSI, the printer my publisher contracts with, is raising their printing rates. I will keep pricing on the print copies I have in inventory at the original rates for HallowCon. I don’t have any more events this year after that. The new prices will be charged at Chattacon next January.

Ebook pricing will not change.

If you plan to attend HallowCon, this is your last chance to get signed copies at the lower price. I’ll also be selling copies of book 7, Maelstrom of Fate, at below retail for this convention. I plan to have 10 copies each of all seven titles in the Waves of Darkness series available.

That’s 70 books.

For the love of all you hold holy, don’t make me have to haul all that back home after the convention.

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