So I was extremely nervous preparing for it this year. Finances meant my plan of taking a hire car got scrubbed. We did all we could to ensure our old banger was as journey worthy as possible (although the same precautions last year didn't and couldn't have prevented the breakdown). However, we planned to leave earlier in the day so if we did have a repeat of last year we still had time to abandon car and jump on a train instead (I learned later that the trains into Bristol were fubar'd - probably just as well I hadn't know that beforehand). >_<
Getting stuck in a traffic queue where we broke down last year was one of the most terrifying few moments of my life. But we made it to Bristol. The relief of getting here was like Christmas coming early! Parking was a bit of an issue, but the hotel we'd booked was lovely (as were the staff), and later I was able to move the car to the convention where it was free (bonus!).
BristolCon is one of the most relaxed and friendly conventions I know (admittedly my recent experience is limited and BristolCon is the only one I've attended as a dealer rather than just a visitor) but the atmosphere is so lovely. I am not a natural socializer and rather shy. Social situations exhaust me. But by the end of the con I was so jazzed I wanted to do it again the next day (not normal for me but a tribute to BristolCon for creating such a conducive atmosphere).
While I didn't sell many books, overall it was such a positive experience and so fun that it's given me a much needed confidence boost when I really needed one. I did sell three books, had enquiries as to whether they were available in ebook form, was approached by a reviewer, had a few people tell me they had things I'd written like Tales (and the lovely author/editor from Grimbold Books - Kate Coe - told me she had When Dark Falls on her to read and review list for this year. That gives me such a buzz, since most of my audience is US). Bookmarks and business cards were picked up. Another Grimbold author - Allan Bott - told me about Ludosport: learning lightsaber duelling as a martial art. We got compliments on our cosplay and I even got asked for a couple of photos (you can also find some convention photos HERE).
I also picked up some books (surprise!). Two Anne McCaffrey books from the swap table (having traded them for my Brent Weeks Way of Shadows trilogy). I spent my earnings on two steampunk urban fantasies for eldest from Rob Harkness, and of course both eldest and I got our favourite authors to sign a book each (Jaine Fenn for me, Janet Edwards for her). Both were also kind enough to come to our table and chat, as well as gifting eldest tokens for her cosplay.
And the highlight of the evening (though we missed it originally and it was only thanks to a BristolCon minion that we got spotted coming in late) was my eldest winning the cosplay contest with the Rey outfit I made. Admittedly there hadn't been much competition, but to have something she asked for and that I'd spent time and effort on be appreciated by others was just awesome. We had to go on stage to collect her prize - a rather awesome trophy, a book, and a book token. I don't think she could have been more chuffed (or I more proud).
All in all it was a wonderful experience. I have to say such a huge thank you to BristolCon:
Its members, organizers (especially Mark Robinson, dealer herder) and minions (especially Scott Lewis who shouted out our late arrival at the closing ceremony for the cosplay award), to my fellow authors (especially those from Grimbold Books who came to chat), to everyone who gave my eldest tokens for the cosplay contest, to Janet Edwards and Jaine Fenn (our two favourite authors who came to chat to us at our table and later signed our books), to the chap who took my photo for his blog and said more female Jedi were needed, to my lovely fellow author KS Turner and her husband who were a delight to share a table with, and lastly to my family (particularly my tolerant husband) but most of all to my eldest who shares my love for cosplay and books. *takes a deep breath* Gosh, I hope I didn't miss anyone out.
But best of all, it looks like we'll be going again next year ^-^
The iBooks special sale event is still going strong - you have one more week to pick up one or more of 21 award winning scifi romances right across the spectrum of SFR. Don't put it off! It'll be gone before you know it.
HERE or on the Brigade blog HERE.
And Gethyon is on sale for just 99 cents until the 8th of November!
A Scifi Adventure Novel
|Left to right: Chiana, Scoop, Fizzgig, Pitch, and Effie|
|Near left to right: Effie, Chiana, Scoop|
Under table left to right: Kyru, Fizzgig, Pitch