So far I’ve met lots of neat people, including Sam B. (who does not have a zombie army) but who does write historical thrillers set in a Post World War 2 environment. He and his wife are super nice, which is always nice when you’re at a convention where your husband basically just slowed the car down before shoving you out of the car and into the convention center.* Sam B. and Linda also seem to know everyone at the convention, which is pretty neat, sort of like getting to sit next to the popular (and nice) kids in class!
We’re also sitting a few booths down from Nightstalker Press, which is funny because I kept looking at them, thinking, “Where do I know them from?!” until finally they took mercy on me and said, “We were in the steampunk cowboy outfits last con,” and it all clicked for me.
Mild prosopagnosia means that I tend to greet everyone as if I’ve never met them before, with the absolute conviction that I should know exactly who they are. Sure it’s awkward at first, but after a while it’s sort of funny.**
And on that note, it is now time for a list!
Things I Have Learned About Conventions***
- Authors (and literary types) get the “Typo’d Mary” joke.
- Always smuggle a snack and/or a pack lunch in.
- Make friends with someone near you (a booth buddy) so you can have bathroom breaks
- The Albuquerque Convention Center is a large building, with a slightly smaller building that they call the “bathrooms.” I recommend taking twine or dropping breadcrumbs – you may not find your way back out of there again, and I can’t guarantee that there are neither witches nor Minotaurs in there. It’s a big complex of bathroom stalls.
- Don’t expect (if you’re me, anyways) to make any of your booth money back. This is a chance to put your face with your book’s name. Be prepared to hand out lots of little freebies and cards.
- There is a cash bar at this convention. At a convention of authors. I don’t know if this is stereotyping, or if it’s marketing genius. I imagine if any of us had any sales they would go directly to paying for our tabs. Mind you, if any of us had sales, we wouldn’t *need* to go start a tab in the first place, I guess.
- That said, there are strange underlying alliances, feuds, and politics that seem to pit some of the bookstores with/against other bookstores. So maybe in retrospect, maybe a cash bar is probably not a good thing to have.
*Not true fact. He bought me breakfast and a fancy barista-made tea before helping me unpack our gear. I did have to do the first part of the convention on my own, but as I’m starting to learn, the first day of a three day convention is usually pretty quiet and pretty much just authors and a few die-hard readers.
** And then it gets a little sad, but then it gets funny again, because what can you do? Life is just sort of like that.
*** Being that I’m an expert because I’ve been to… like… three of these types of conventions? Four? Whatever, still far less than an expert has. But I still like lists, (and footnotes) so whatever.