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ConCarolinas 2023 - Recap

My first time as a guest at a convention.


Image: Doug is holding down a copy of The Language of Skeptics.

Venessa (my friend) and I were two hours outside Atlanta when the butterflies kicked in. It wasn't the traffic or the fact I had only one Mt. Dew on the drive. It was not quite the fact that none of my copies of The Language of Skeptics had arrived nor had any of my other promo materials. Those latter issues were troublesome, sure, but nothing I could not handle on an emotional level.


But the idea that I was going to be a guests for the first time, that had me nervous. Being purely a guest is a far different experience than being a convention volunteer. They have to extend you courtesy but you have far less authority at the convention. I think I use what little authority I do have at conventions for good, but i still have to maintain a certain decorum. As a guest that is still the case; my behavior would


be on display for everyone and this would be my first impression with a great many folks. "Let's see how Sean acts as one of us." was on my mind.


I think I acquitted myself well. No one took me aside and told me not to be an ass. No one left a note on my hotel room door telling me never to come back. So I am calling that a win.


The Con


ConCarolinas is, from what I can tell, well run and well attended. The staff were all courtesy. The head of the Paranormal track gave all her panelists a gift bag, which leads me to believe I am slacking in terms of being a track director. Membership were well behaved and I did not witness any discourtesy to one another. Panel rooms were large, but the author area seemed cramped and I feel for those folks in the hallways. Being there would have worn on my nerves. Of course one day I may end up there, though I hope to get into the authors' alley area. That may take a few years before I am up to par with the other authors.


The People


For the first time I felt like an actual peer, though having books to sell would have been better. I helped out at Mocha Memoirs Press' table all three days and was able to practice my sales techniques.


Ready?


"Do you like books about people? We have those. No? Well we have a book about dragons." I bet you want to run out and order a book from MMP right now. Do it!


I was able to hang out with many of my favorite people and received blessings from Dino. What can I say about Dino? He bought two of my books so that I could show them to people. I gifted them to two friends, because I felt that was the proper way to pass the gift on. I signed a few books from those who had bought them and I did let several friends hold The Language of Skeptics. It was nice to hear some validation.


Overall


ConCarolinas2023 was a good experience for me. I did not do any gaming, which is about my only regret. Will have to correct that next time. I may or may not go in 2024, depending on a number of factors, but I will be adding it into my rotation. As the first convention where I was a guest, I can say it will be memorable to me, if not necessarily exciting as an anecdote. Career is off to a good start.





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