I feel like a wrung out sponge, and while I officially declare this Nap Day my brain is in go mode after attending my first Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention ConQuestKC, so I really need to share.  I had a blast!  The show was a lot of fun to attend.  I had the opportunity to meet some great people, interact with talented writers, and sell some books.  My attendance at ConQuestKC will encompass several posts.  Today I’m going to share my enthusiasm in regards to the fun aspects of the show.  I will also post about the prep work that went into making the show successful for me, and finally I will post my thoughts for anyone who is considering participating in similar shows and the business side of attending.

A sincere thank you to everyone who organized ConQuestKC, and kept it running smoothly.  It’s like a special-effects laden movie; you only notice if the special effects are bad.  The fates were against the organizers.  The Sheraton is under heavy construction so parking was limited, the lobby almost inaccessible, and getting from the dealer room to the meeting rooms where panels were hosted was a trek.  The show, for me anyway, still went incredibly smooth.  It could have been a disaster and I barely noticed the inconveniences.

A special shout-out to Kat Donavan and her partner in crime, Nick “McKay” Seddon.  Kat was amazing at organizing the panels and keeping everyone on task; I’m already looking forward to next year.  I had the pleasure of participating in several panels with McKay; he is both knowledgeable of all things geek and he kept the topics fun and positive.

I’m sure Allie is already tired of my gratitude, but at least half the books I sold were because of her braving the costume and inviting people into the booth.  As she would say, she totally rocked the chain mail costume I made, and the other costumes she brought to the Con!  It takes more than hotness to inspire the buzz she created.  A traditional ‘booth babe’ can draw the eye, but it takes an intelligent, confident and well-spoken person like Allie to really inspire that great a reaction.  Those who had the pleasure to meet Allie can understand why she is one of my best friends, and I couldn’t have done the show without her!

My lovely wife and editor, who is also the most patient and understanding woman on Earth, did an awesome job of keeping me on task as I prepared for ConQuestKC over the last several months.  She also covered the booth and answered questions throughout the Con as I attended panels and Allie posed with attendees.  Thanks Angie!

I met some great people at ConQuestKC, and we were fortunate enough to be neighbors with some of the coolest people at the Con!  Chamber of Champions is an online hobby game store based in central Iowa.  It was a pleasure meeting Diane, Scott, Mac and Keegan.  You definitely need to follow them if you use Facebook or Twitter, and keep an eye out for their website which is under construction but will be open for business soon!

I had the pleasure of getting to meet and host panels with several talented authors, including Dennis Young, author of Secret Fire; Bryan Thomas Schmidt, author of The Worker Prince; Tori St. Claire, author of Stripped; and Ursula Vernon, author and illustrator of Digger.  Needless to say I walked away with more books than I have time to read, and I’m looking forward to hiding away with them once I’m done with my Buried in Angst.

If ConQuestKC was to be measured solely on the people I met, I can’t imagine attending a more successful show!