Beyond The Darkness 11
Feelin' the love...
Welcome back, freaks!
Yep, it’s been a long couple of weeks, but I’m back, so wipe your teary eyes and blow your nose. I have returned to the Beyond the Darkness Newsletter to effectively bore you to death with personal stories and goings on with my milquetoast self. Bully for you for waiting so patiently for this issue. There’s just one problem… Where’s my milk and cookies?
Okay, for realsie though. It’s nice to be back after two weeks off. But it’s not as though I’ve been slacking. Along with getting a grove back in my writing, I traveled last weekend back to my hometown of Evansville, IN to not only see friends and family, but to vend my books at the first annual Evansville Horror Con.
The last show I vended at back home was over 6 years ago. The first iteration of my debut novel The Betrayed had just come out and I purchased a table at what was then called Evansville Pop Con. At that point, all I had was that book and my very first book (now long out of print) called Unfit for Burial. I honestly can’t remember how well I did at that show. The only thing I do remember was gentleman who was set up next to my table. He was an artist and predominantly drew pop culture figures as pickle people. Yep, you read that right. And with each purchase of a pickle person, you got an actual dill pickle in a plastic baggie. Yep. And guess what he did the moment he saw I was a writer…? If you guessed he begged me to write a book about his pickle people, I have a big dill pickle in a zip lock baggie for you.
Thank God, this show was absolutely nothing like that. Granted, it was in the same building, but this show was strictly horror-related―no pickle people allowed. (I kid). My wife, son, and I flew into Louisville, as we always do, and my parents came and picked. Yes, Evansville has an airport. I prefer to fly Southwest because it’s cheaper, but they unfortunately don’t have a hub there. I set up on Friday afternoon and was taken aback with how small the venue seemed. I remember it being so much bigger the last time I was there, but for whatever reason it seemed half the size. No matter. I quickly set up and spent the rest of the evening with my family and got dinner at my favorite local hibachi spot (shout out to Roppongi Japanese Steak and Sushi), which is always fantastic. My parents rarely get to see their grandchild, so it was nice to have them spend the weekend together.
On Saturday I got up early and headed to Party City to get a new table cloth covering since none were provided. After re-setting up my table, I got to catch up with author Brent Abell, who I haven’t seen in some time. Brent and I used to work together for nearly ten years, so it was great to finally see him again. By the time 10AM rolled around, the doors opened and people started to trickle in. I’ll admit, I fully expected this show to be a dud. I mean absolutely no offense to anyone running the show or the vendors or the locals. It was a first year con and I’ve done enough of those to know what to expect from them. Not to mention one of the celebrity headliners cancelled the night before.
Holy shit, was I wrong.
By Noon, the building was shoulder-to-shoulder packed with bodies, and by then a quarter of the books I had brought were sold. Only a few hours in and I was stunned. My expectations were blown away. There were times I was struggling to keep up with sales as people were buying them faster than I could mark them down on my note cards and sign them. By the end of the day, I had sold over half of what I brought with me, and I was physically exhausted. That night my best friend Joseph and his two girls met us for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, a German place called Gerst Haus, where we all gorged on a giant Bavarian pretzel and I downed a large plate of sausages. The day was a massive success.
Sunday proved to be a bit slower, as all cons tend to be on the last day, but more books were sold and more friends I hadn’t seen in a long time came out to surprise me. Also, shout out to Robb for driving out from Owensboro to say hi and pick up some books (much appreciated, man!). By the end of the show, I was drained. I had brought with me 93 books, and I left the show with only 20. Even as I type this, I still can’t believe that. What I originally though would be a below average event turned out to be actually be one of the best I’ve ever done. Seriously, bravo to the showrunners and everyone involved for creating and hosting such a wonderful event. I was absolutely feeling the love from my hometown. I won’t soon forget that feeling.
I love you and miss you terribly, Evansville! Stay golden!
Speaking of conventions, Scares That Care Presents AuthorCon is rapidly approaching! We’’re now less than two weeks from the biggest and best weekend-long book event on the East Coast. I’ll be there vending my books along with nearly 200 (yes, you read the correctly) other authors of various genres. There will be multiple vendor rooms, as well as a film festival, panels, and author readings.
All info and tickets can be found here: https://scaresthatcare.org/authorcon
I will be involved in three different panels and readings throughout the weekend, which are as follows…
Friday: Panel 6:45pm – 7:45pm (Second Floor, Room 16): Collaborations – Stephen Kozeniewski (moderator), Wile E. Young, Wesley Southard, Ruthanne Jagge, Daron Kappauff, and RJ Roles discuss the ins-and-outs of writing with a partner.
Reading 8:30pm – 9:30pm (Second Floor, Room 8): Wesley Southard, Lucas Mangum, and John Wayne Comunale
Saturday: Panel 1:00pm – 2:00pm (Second Floor, Room 16): Road Dogs – What are some tips for setting up a book signing? How can one plan an economical book signing tour? What are the do’s-and-dont’s of setting up at conventions? Wesley Southard (moderator), Gemma Amor, Ronald Malfi, Joseph Pesavento, John Wayne Comunale.
Hope to you all there!
Sorry, I wasn’t able to get to any Tales from the Crypt episodes this week. I will get back on the undead horse next week.
I’m about halfway through the novelette I’m writing for the book author Wile E. Young and I are putting together, and I have to tell you, I’m really loving how this story is coming together. I’m excited to continue work. Oh, and we got the cover art back. It’s fantastic! I can’t wait to reveal it soon.
Currently watching: The Last of Us (Finished the show, really enjoyed it. It didn’t really add anything new to that subgenre, but the characters were so well done and intriguing to watch.)
Currently reading: Alien: Enemy of my Enemy by Mary Saniovanni (Loving it so far.)
Currently listening to: In Flames (yeah, it’s a joke at this point, right?)
That’s it for this week. Thanks so much for stopping by!