So. This weekend I went to Imaginarium. My first convention, selling my first book. I expected spending a ton of money on books, meeting other authors and guests, and learning about the world of writing.
But so much more happened than I ever could have dreamed.
Those things that I described did happen. I pretty much blew my bank account to pieces on books and even an octopus. I rocked the panels I was on. I had so much fun meeting the other authors and guests, including Jeffery Reddick, the screenwriter for Final Destination, and Dan Jolley, the writer of the Terminator: The Enemy of My Enemy comics and the story director for Prototype 2. I didn't expect to sell many books, if any. Who the hell would care? I thought. The sci-fi/dystopian genre has pretty much taken over pop culture; this self-published novel would be just a penny thrown into the well of 2010's America, to sink down below its depths like a forgotten shipwreck.
But that's where I was wrong. Dead wrong.
I sold out of copies of Gears of Golgotha on the second day of Imaginarium. I was at a pitching session when the publisher asked me for a copy of Gears to read. My younger sister, who was there along with Frank Hall (who was pretty much my go-to person all weekend, and he is awesome), ran down to grab a copy and came back up. She handed me the book and said, "You're going to have to give this back; this is Uncle Frank's (not to be confused with Frank Hall) copy, and you've sold out!"
My jaw dropped. I wanted to faint. Sold out? I sold out? That obscure first-time author that no one had heard of sold out? (Turns out there was one copy left that no one noticed until later, and that was eventually purchased by Frank.)
And that's when the publisher told me that he wanted my next book that I was pitching to him. I told him I'd think about it and went on with the day.
And then two other companies offered me contracts to sign with them. I was pretty much caught up in a three way bidding war between three different publishing houses. I felt like I was walking on air all weekend. Publishing houses are asking for me? I never really had much faith in my writing. I've never really even let people read my stuff (you know, other than school). But the first time I put myself out there, people are asking for me? I mean, Tony Acree of Hydra Publications (who is AWESOME by the way) bought me dinner at the Blue Horse in Crowne Plaza to talk about my books! I swore I was in a coma and I would wake up in my bed at my dorm or my house or in a hospital bed or something crazy like that. After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided to accept a contract from Hydra Publications to not only rerelease Gears of Golgotha, but to write a brand new book. I still feel like I'm dreaming, but I've never been so happy in all of my life.
All in all? Imaginarium was the best weekend of my life. For once, I didn't feel like I was the crazy hermit of my group. People actually liked me and cared about what I had to say. All of the panels were intriguing and fun. I got to meet so many new people and pretty much started up my own library (you're welcome, Larissa and Faith haha). The convention was run much more smoothly than most established cons. If you are a writer, publisher, or are interested in the creative arts in any way, this is the perfect place for you to be. The dates for next year should be announced soon. I'll make sure to keep you guys updated.
Love and Coffee cups,
*CORRECTION: I accidentally called Dan Jolley the story director for Prototype 2, but after checking the website, he is actually credited as Lead Writer.