Convention Time

With Gold Coast Supanova Pop Culture Convention upon us, the Ouroborus authors sat down to answer some questions about fandom, conventions and their books!

 

How long have you been going to conventions?

Mitchell: I’ve been going to Supanova as a Fan since inception, so about eight years. As an author to promote my books, about three to four years now. And since it’s twice a year, I get to go to the Brisbane and Gold Coast Supanovas. Each year it gets better and better. I love going, it’s so much fun and you get to meet other authors and talk with them about writing, and discuss different writing processes with new authors.

Danica: I’ve been attending the conventions for roughly seven years as a fan but as an author this is my second year.

Shayla: I went to my first convention in 2014 and now I wouldn’t miss one!

Sabrina: Like Mitchell I’ve been going for years now. I think I’ve been to 12 over the years. This will be 4th Gold Coast Nova for me as a stall holder though and I’ve done 3 Brisbane Novas.

 

What’s the Australian pop culture convention scene like, for those who might not have been?

Mitchell: Every Geek culture niche is covered at these conventions. If you’re into Dr Who, or Stargate, Star Wars or Anime, there’s something there for you. They promote a safe, judgement-free, environment, so you can be who you are. Wear your nerd on your sleeve and dress up and come on down! There’s plenty to see and do at any convention, from artist alley, to self-published authors and artists, not to mention celebrities and Q and As.

Shayla: I love how inclusive and family-friendly it is. Nerds of all ages mix and mingle and complement one another on their costumes. People stop each other every few paces and ask for photos with unusual or impressive cosplay – the best thing is seeing a six-year-old Batman smile when the rest of the Justice League pose around him. It’s such a build-you-up culture. Kids and their parents get to geek out together over good, clean fun.

Sabrina: I’m a massive geek at heart and I love that so many fandoms can come together in harmony. Aus Conventions also seem to be so inclusive, all ages, races and genders. It’s a safe space full of amazing writers, artists and cosplayers.

 

How does it feel when you interact with your readers?

Danica: It’s really exciting and fulfilling, I also love getting feedback from what they love and what they’d like me to elaborate on in later stories.

Mitchell: I love to hear my readers asking when the next book is coming out. It makes the whole process worthwhile – knowing they enjoyed it. Sometimes they have questions, or want to ask about characters, and I love the fact they have questions or that it might inspire them to try writing themselves.

Sabrina: I’m still gobsmacked when I meet someone who doesn’t know me that has read the books. Even after all these years I still get that amazed feeling that someone is invested in something I created.

 

Sabrina, you’ve co-written (and edited, and published, and illustrated!!!) the Everdark Realms series, which is a fun and creative take on the traditional fantasy genre. How are your cosplay choices influenced by your books?

Sabrina: I think because my books are inspired by my own fandoms (varied as they are) my cosplay is just as eclectic. I do have some characters from my books that I’d love to cosplay one day though.

 

You’ve got book two of Lost Worlds waiting in the wings I hope, Danica! Tell me about how that’s going, and how you contain spoilers from excited fans when you discuss the series?

Danica: The second book will hopefully be going into publication soon. And I’m just about to begin writing the third book.

 

Shayla, you can sometimes be found at stores and events throughout the year selling The Elm Stone Saga. How is it different selling books at conventions?

Shayla: I love any opportunity to connect with readers so both are great, but the main differences between selling at cons and selling outside stores is a) the genre reader, and b) the healthy competition. My series is YA urban fantasy and that’s a strong but niche market, and the majority of people walking past or even into a general bookstore are not looking for that. At conventions like Supanova, everybody who has paid for entry is a genre fan, and that means for two whole days of wholesome nerdy fun, I’m surrounded by my own kind! It’s easy to strike up conversation about common interests at cons, but I have to remember – unlike outside stores, I’m also surrounded by other authors selling other great genre books!

 

Mitchell, you released your first solo work, Heather Cassidy and the Magnificent Mr Harlow, at the last Supanova. Congratulations! What advice would you give to new authors and artists just starting out at cons?

Mitchell: Just talk to people about writing. You’ll find they either read a lot, or they are writers themselves. Be yourself and just chat. Don’t push your book too hard, most people know straight away if they are going to buy it or not. Let them know what it’s about, what genre in falls under and other books that are similar. Make sure you’re excited to have them at your table to chat. Give them a book mark or website address, in case they want to buy it later. Treat every customer the same and don’t be disappointed if you don’t sell anything the first day. Remember, you are where you have been dreaming about for so long, just enjoy it.

 

Published in: on April 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm  Leave a Comment