Monday, May 16, 2011

A Wonderful WonderFest Weekend!

(Some of the works from Whitworth Sculpture Studio, who were located close to my booth at Wonderfest)

This past weekend was a bit of an experiment, as I took off for Louisville, Kentucky for WonderFest 2011. WonderFest is primarily an event focusing on the world of model kits, sculptures, toys, and the like, mainly in the scifi/horror/fantasy and military arenas.

It draws a couple thousand folks in, and has a number of panels and other activities, including the famous Rondo Awards. My booth was in the corner of one of the main vendor halls, adjacent to a fine fellow named Sean Kotz, who was assisting a dealer of toys/resin cast statues/model kits, and David and Cindy from Amazing Figure Modeler Magazine. At Cons, it is always a boon when you get good neighbors, and in my case I had two outstanding ones.

I didn't know how well my booth would go over, as I was one of the only "book people" in a hall filled with dealers, suppliers of kits, clay, and all kinds of things relating to the core elements of what WonderFest is about. It was truly a bit of an experiment, but I figured that I wrote in the right genre, so I had a shot. LOL

I am happy to say that things turned out very well. I ended up meeting some wonderful fantasy readers, ran into some of my friends that I see on the Con circuit, like Carrie Galloway, author Nicole Cushing, C.T. Brannon, and many others. The vibe was good all throughout!

(Me with Carrie Galloway...FINALLY got a pic with her! LOL She's as cool as she is pretty too!

I got to attend the Rondo Awards for the first time. It is an award named for B-movie villain Rondo Hatton, and the award is a bust of his very distinctive face. The awards featured a number of categories, ranging from best films, to best magazines, podcasts, and even a hall of fame.

(William Stout giving his induction speech for the Hall of Fame at the Rondo Awards)

Some of the presentations involved humor, such as the Rue Morgue Magazine win for best podcast, and some involved some emotional moments, such as when William Stout, one of the forces behind movies such as Wizards, was inducted into the Hall of Fame. You could tell that he was genuinely moved by the award, and he gave a really personal, heartfelt speech.

My host for the weekend was none other than Ken Daniels, the king of Fandom Fest, who was busy shuttling down on Saturday to a horror and tattoo convention in Nashville TN. I think Ken was trying to kill me on Friday (I came up a night early to set up for the Saturday-Sunday event), as he kept giving me organic food at his house. As everyone knows, good food needs good additives and artificial flavoring. Organic food is...well...we'll be polite, especially when it comes to the organic biscuits that Ken had.

Luckily, I had a stock of Monster Energy to detoxify myself from the organic array, LOL.

Myra Daniels and Melissa Majors came up on Sunday, and, lo and behold, they brought more of their magic, as readers of this blog may remember from my Metropolis Weekend. I knew it was coming when Myra went to get a hot dog to tide herself over until dinner. This began a sequence where whenever Myra and Melissa stopped by the booth, people bought books. It was uncanny, and just as surreal as Metropolis. I swear if they hung out with me every time I was at a Con, I'd hit the New York Times list. It is a really strange phenomenon, but I swear it happens!

(The unrivaled M&M's, Myra Daniels and Melissa Majors, double the trouble and twice the magic!)

I met many wonderful new reader friends, including a couple, Karen Jones, and Kim Doom,who blew me away by jumping into the deep end of the pool by getting all four of the available novels, in both series. I had to get a pic of this moment, as they had come up to the table at the same time.

(a pretty amazing moment documented here, Karen Jones on the left, and Kim Doom, on the right, back to back each got all four of my available novels. Wow, that was cool!)

I really love meeting readers face to face. I'm not one of those reclusive types when it comes to my reader-friends, and it is always a special moment when I meet a new reader-friend. Here are a couple more photos of some of the newest ones who have come aboard my crazy epic fantasy journey!

(Kaitlyn is one of my new reader friends who I met last weekend!)

(Me with Mary, who got my two Fires in Eden Books and is a lover of epic fantasy! She and her husband have fantastic taste in music, including Motorhead and Metallica!)

The weekend was capped off wonderfully with a great dinner shared with Myra, Ken, Melissa, horror film genius J.D. Feigelson,and Chris from VCI Entertainment. It was a blast listening to some pretty amazing stories, and looking towards some great things in the near future involving Fandom Fest. People definitely need to look towards coming to Louisville in is going to be really exciting!

(Me with Ken Daniels, who made this great weekend possible, and who is a guy I consider a friend and a visionary)

I've got another short week, as Friday I'm heading to a Author Fair in Piqua Ohio (just outside of Dayton). It is a one day event, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some authors like Stephen Hines, Bonnie Stewart, and James Barnes. The Con/Event season is fully underway!

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