Northwest Comic Fest Post Mortem and My Next Book

So this is thing I’ve seen a couple other people do and in my quest to desperately be like other people,  I also will do it.

First things first though, I’m going to try to get my next book done in time OryCon 38. It’s going to be called Weiss and the Dead Girl (most likely) and it’s going to be a paranormal/occult detective story. So yeah. Hopefully it’ll all be together by late November. That’s the dream. Still have ALL of everything to do on it. 100% of the planning. We’ll see.

That’s enough of that. Let’s talk about Northwest Comic Fest. It’s, I believe, the second year the con has taken place and it was an extremely quiet little convention. Salem’s not the biggest town in Oregon by any stretch, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect for turnout. I assumed low. I was right on that front. This few sentences has, no doubt, set any citizens of Salem bubbling with rage, ready to cast aspersions at Medford, insisting an In ‘n’ Out does not make them the superior city. But I will now deftly angle away from any such size discussions and ramble in other directions, thus making them all forget! Ha-ha! A victory for me.

Sorry, what was I on about? Oh right. Small-ish town. It really reminded me of Champaign, Illinois, except it’s not fucking awful in every possible way. Salem’s not awful, I mean. Champaign is a death pit, where anything interesting has been so long dead that no one even attempts personality. Just don’t go there.

But Salem was good and the con itself was uneventful. From having talked to a few of the people around, apparently I was one of the few who sold much of anything. I’m still sort of reeling from the whole result, I guess. There’s this unspoken reality of writing your own books and putting them out. No one cares. Books are long and if they’re bad they’re a terrible waste of people’s time. So I understand the hesitation for people to engage with a random author. It’s part of the reason I put so much work into the aesthetic of the books themselves. I want to present the sort of care I took for the contents on the cover. Hopefully stand out.

And I guess I did. I sold over fifty copies and gave away probably twenty more (because I love austerity!). Now I get to nervously wait to find out if I somehow tricked people by smiling and being self-deprecating and personable. I like to hope not. I like to hope there’s solid content and good character in my books. Most people seem to like them. And by most, I mean the roughly ten who’ve ever read them who are strangers to me.

Either way, if nothing else, the energizing effect of people being even slightly enthused about my books will carry over for a bit. It’s got me itching to get to work on my fifth novel and so I will. It got me to get my social media in order. I made a Facebook page. Two people already found it. They are stalking me, maybe. They want revenge. I am cross-posting it there, so they will know I know. THEY WILL KNOW. Most importantly, I think, it made me realize I’ve been in something of a funk for the past five years or so. Putting a lot in and getting nothing back creeps into your day-to-day a bit. Just the interest has really made me feel like there’s a reason to have put effort in. I’m hesitant to believe that they were all sane people since it’s only a single data point, but there’s a tentative hope underlying the whole thing. Maybe my problem really is just not having been in front of people or something. Maybe I was just doing the wrong stuff this whole time. Or the right stuff the wrong way?

BUT! I have to wait for people to read it. That’s the trick. That’s why I’m waiting to be excited. Impatiently waiting. But still, Northwest Comic Fest was a great start. First con ever with my novels. If you’re reading this, and you bought a copy, thanks. Really. All the other posts will be sarcastic dreck and unsolicited opinions. That’s a promise. No one reads these things anyway. So much the better.

OH! And my contact form works now. It was broken. I fixed it. Used magic. Feel free to bother me. I’d appreciate it, actually.

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