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Thoughts on Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015

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As the electricity of the last weekend seems to die down, I’m finally able to breathe and collect my thoughts. This was the 2nd year that I attended Tampa Bay Comic Con, and the second go around not only met, but exceeded my expectations.





 The Con started on Friday, July 31st, but I was only able to attend on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 1st and 2nd). Once again, Twilight Times Books authors Scott Eder and Dora Machado were by my side. This year, we were positioned at two adjoining tables and had a much larger display, which I felt was really beneficial as we collectively doubled our sales from last year, and The Coal ElfSOLD OUT!




The overall reception and response to having authors at the Con has certainly grown. Last year, we were barely a “blip” on the general populous’ radar, but this year was something else… it was different. There was a different vibe in the air, like people were almost looking for something new and fresh and exciting – something that took them out of the typical Con fare, but still immersed them in the realm of the fantastical.




There were many familiar faces from last year. A lot of my kiddos and friends showed up and brought with them an enormous amount of love and support. I also recognized people from the Con last year and had numerous people comment to me that they bought The Coal Elf last year and were eagerly awaiting the sequel. As an author, hearing those words is indescribable! My work is forever out there in the world, people are reading it and enjoying it, and they want more? That concept is so wild to me. And while I’m no newbie in this rodeo of writing, feedback like that gets me all giggly every time!








 One of the most important aspects of the Con was speaking on the Author Panels. This year, we really amped up the content, and all of our sessions were well received, and well attended (with a lot of people coming to more than one). Scott, Dora and I were joined again by author Tracy Akers.




Saturday’s topics were “So You Want to Be a Writer?” and “Take Me Away: A look at Setting in Fantasy Writing”. Scott and I were later invited to sit in on a third panel that day with author Rod Martinez (an entirely impromptu thing), and this session was very audience-driven and super informative. On Sunday morning we were back again with one of my favorite topics “Villains: What Makes the Bad Guy Tick?” which again, was a lively and audience-led discussion.




This was such a thrilling part of the entire weekend, because there were many aspiring authors in the audience (whose shoes I not too long ago wore myself) that were there looking for tips, tricks, pointers, experiences, any kind of help. Our panels became a lesson not only in craft, but in the writing business in general. Every session ended with a “come see me at our table so we can talk more about this”, or a side-bar conversation in the hallway, and even beyond that to emails and Facebook communication with people I have now happily welcomed into my writing circle. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about – supporting each other to realize our dreams.


As we look ahead to next year, we’re already concocting bigger and more elaborate plans. We are working on a possible writing group to carry on through the year leading up to the next Con, and we already have possible topics for the panels next year! The Rise of Sturd will be out by then, and who knows just how large the authors’ presence will be in year three?   



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Guest Monday, 18 December 2017