VCon 37 – Day 1

VCon 37 – Day 1

Well, I had hoped to have live pictures and updates from VCon today, but there was no free internet to access.  Besides, if I had the pictures might have all looked like this:

It was a slow day.  By the end of it I only sold 4 books.  But fear not, that’s normal on a Friday, another vendor told me.  He sold about the same amount and had been going to VCon for years.  Friday is “recon” day, apparently.

This other author, Joseph Picard, sells about 30 or so books a year there.  Hopefully I’ll do the same, plus hand out plenty of flyers and free short-story Amazon links to people on the fence.  But hey, I really like the display I put up.

Things started out rough, however.  My half table had been fully commandeered by a paintball company who though, and had prepared appropriately for, a full table.  Half an hour after the vending hall opened to the public, it got resolved when the paintball guys were given a full table in the Artists Hall just outside the vending hall, giving me a full table.

Good deal, you might think, but as you can see until that time my display was… less than attractive.   Not a good start (certainly didn’t help the stress and first time jitters), plus I didn’t really have enough stuff to warrant a full table. I was afraid of being too thinly spread, so I used only about 2/3rds of the table instead.

And then there was the other problem… one of the paintball guys got drunk. He took back part of my table (despite them already having a full table) and was borderline belligerent to people.  Not enough to be a problem, but enough to make people uncomfortable.  Especially me.  Oh well.  It wasn’t all bad.  Some of the cosplayers there were dressed up really well for the apocalypse  too… often with a steampunk flavor as well.

The rest of the evening was pretty straight forward, and I spent most of my time talking to other vendors and occasionally potential customers.  That’s just the way things rolled.  One woman, Lisa, is an aspiring author but she was there selling her artwork and jewellery.  Another, Cat, knits everything from woolly brain hats to throw rugs woven with Daleks in it.  Plus lots of other fun odds and ends as well.  An aspiring artist, “Q” has a booth in the artist hall just outside and actually found a missing word in my word search!  The word Curse doesn’t actually show up in it.  I thanked her, and told her I’d tell others it was intentional – that’s the curse.

That evening there was a book launch party for new authors.  Hors d’oeuvres were on offer, but I had little appetite (despite not eating all day).  I was nervous, and I’ve blown public speaking before.  I had a chance to say a line from Hamlet on stage at the Globe Theatre years back and pretty much blew it.  That still haunts me.

The other readers ranged from zombie-reading voice to having a well practised manner.  A couple could probably read their own audio books if so inclined.

So when it came my turn… I did okay.  I had opened with a joke that fell flat, but the reading itself was good.  People laughed where they were supposed to laugh, and often.  That to me meant success.

After that it was a long SkyTrain ride home with one of the other authors there, Gib Van Ert.  I actually purchased his book “A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars” because from his reading I could tell his memoir was of a Stuart MacLean style that Gillian would enjoy.  We talked about writing, Star Wars, and gaming during the ride home.  He’d actually left Star Wars behind to become a lawyer, but in writing this and having a child of his own, he’s learning to let that kid inside of him get out and live again.  That can only be a good thing.

So I’m home now, just wrote this, and am going to bed.  I’m exhausted.  And I need to get back there by 10am tomorrow to do it again.


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  1. Way to go, Noah!

  2. Sorry about the drunk and belligerent Call of Paintball guy!

    I was nominally in charge of the Vendors and must apologize for not giving them nearly as much love as they deserve this year (primarily because it was one of the two roles I took on when we had no one else to do them and because I’d done them before). I’ve taken note of your experience though, and will make sure whoever takes on the role next year (not me!) will be aware of it if CoP does come back.

    • admin |

      No worries, after all, it worked out well for me as well. Having a full table let me have a more full experience at VCon, and I consider that minor episode the karmic price to pay for it ;) I had a great time, and look forward to next year’s VCon!

      • Anonymous |

        Hope I’m there next year.

      • Glad to know you’re not too upset about it. But next year, if you run into any other kind of trouble in the dealers room (like someone being drunk and belligerent) please don’t hesitate to let the Vendor Liaison or, in fact, anyone in an official capacity, know about it. We do have a security team for a reason. :-)

        • admin |

          Thanks. If things had gotten problematic I would have informed someone. Thing is, it stayed at that very awkward point where it just felt like things would play out better if you didn’t draw attention to it, but if you did it could get ugly… kind of like the end of The Italian Job with Michael Caine where the truck is teetering at the edge of the cliff ;)

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