Atlanti-con 2: my second west coast convention :)

Hi everyone =)

It’s been so long since I did a more personal post that I thought it was time. The end of last month I went back to Atlanti-Con (this time as an invited guest which was great). I had a great time last year so I was looking forward to this year a lot. For those who don’t know Atlanti-Con is the sci-fi/fantasy/anime/horror convention held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and organized by Jeff Keeping and lots of other great folks out there.

Part of the convention for the past 2 years have just been getting there (I live about 6.5 hours away) as Steve Lake and some other people organize people drive into Atlanti-Convoy. I’ll admit that when it comes to traveling I’m used to do things on my own, I’ve driven across Newfoundland many times and I was a bit skeptical about doing it with a bunch of other people in different cars. This year I had all new people in the van with me and they were all a delight to drive with (plus they saved me a fortune in gas 🙂 It is a good idea safety wise and using this app so we could all communicate through smart phones (it basically turns a phone into a walkies-talkie) was fun. Next year I am considering flying out which but let’s move on to the actual convention.

This year I had two books to sell, “The Newfoundland Vampire” and “Killer on the Road” (book 2) along with some magic cards. I also gave a talk on my book and attended a panel on Star Trek: Reliant (a fan-made show that I’m lucky enough to be a part of). Sales-wise I sold 5 copies of book one and 3 copies of book two (which was less than last year if you’re curious). The interesting part is that I sold over $100 worth of magic cards! I was pleasantly surprised, I played magic in university about 16 years ago and finally decided last year to sell off my cards. Apparently the popularity of new video games is fueling sales of the cards, I was happy to part with them.

My talk called “Writing, publishing and vampires, oh my!” was combined with Darren Hann’s (another local author and friend) and together we had about 12 people. Like most authors I enjoy talking about myself 😉 Seriously Jeff’s idea of combining mine with Darren’s was a really good one and I enjoyed it a lot.

Corner Brook itself is great town, it has some lovely walking trails and the hotel I stayed at, the Glynmill Inn, had great food, lovely service, a clean room and had a lovely old-fashioned feel next to a pond and walking trail. In terms of the town itself I had a lovely time walking home on a Sunday night around 10pm and not meeting a single person, it was quiet and relaxing and the weather was great. While I met some strange (a taxi cab driver who really has issues) and unfriendly people (okay just one security guard at Grenfell campus to be fair), overall I had a great time and am really looking forward to coming back.

In terms of social, well I am a bit of a loner (my wife didn’t come with me again this year) so Friday night I played some poker and set up my table. Saturday night I had dinner by myself (I think other people went to Jungle Jim’s but I wasn’t in the mood) and then went to a dance at the campus bar (I believe it was the “The Backlot”). The party was excellent, two of my friends were there (Shannon and Lisa) and I had a wonderful chat with a guest at the convention, Gary Jones. I would have stayed longer and had more to drink but I just don’t have the stomach I used to. If you get a chance to see him at a convention sometime I highly recommend it, he is interesting, funny, generous, smart and just an all around nice guy. He bought me a drink at the bar, asked me all about my books, Newfoundland and my life and then told me some great stories about auditions, conventions and Newfoundland. He even came up with a clever pun “D’Rockula” which I certainly may use in a future story. We chatted about Breaking Bad (which was ending that weekend) and I even had the pleasure of seeing him again Sunday morning for breakfast (we stayed at the same hotel).

Of course I have to mention Fat Apollo, what a great guest, this is third time I’ve been at a con with him but the first time I really got to hang out with him in a social situation. Very funny and lots of fun to be around (and apparently quite the dancer), looking forward to seeing him again next month at Hal-Con (where I’m also lucky enough to be an invited guest).

This year it was held at Sir Wilfred Grenfell Campus and I must say the physical space was lovely. Bright, open, plenty of room. There were some issues with security (which I’ve already spoke to Jeff about) and lack of food service (which I’ve also mentioned) but I’m certain both of these issues will be addressed for next year.

I didn’t take any of these pictures (they all came from the FB group) but I had to share:

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Some wonderful costumes, good t-shirts and other great collectibles were there as well. I also appreciated that immediately after the con there was a feedback form but up and a call for suggestions for guests for next year. Overall I had a great time, I love cons and would talk more about it but I have to work. Have a great day everyone, next post will likely be a movie review.

CORRECTION:

After speaking with Jeff it should be noted it was Darren who thought of combing our two author panels. I was happy to give Jeff credit but he’s too honest and humble to let me.

Also I was mistaken there was food available, it was provided by Scaredy Cat, a Corner Brook animal organization. Also hot food will hopefully be available next year. Sorry for any confusion on these points, that’s what I get for writing a post almost 2 weeks afterwards, some details slipped my mind.

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