It was a fairly quiet week. I took the time to rest but still got some writing done. But the big focus was preparing for Ad Astra in Toronto. It was my first time at that convention and my first time doing a non-hometown convention, so I was a little nervous. But I packed up my car with bins of books and swag and headed out on Friday, with my younger son in tow for a visit to his aunt and uncle in Toronto.
As those who live in Southern Ontario know, this weekend was a record breaker for rain. So it was a long drive and there were a couple of time where we slowed down to a crawl because of lack of visibility. But for all that, there were no real complications or problems, and we arrived in Toronto in good time. I got myself registered and my booth set up well before the dealer room opened at 8pm that night.
I had some new elements for my table this year: a vinyl poster with the promo blurb from Deb Cooke, which rolled up nicely into a bin and was much easier to deal with than my big board-mounted cover; my table-top sign with the Revelations cover and blurb; and of course, book 3: Inquisition! I also had my sign up for my mailing list, with a chance to win an Amazon gift card, my swag tote bags, my promo buttons, and a bag full of 250 packets with my card, a button and a Hershey's kiss.
I was pleased to see a lot of variety among the vendors. And I had some great neighbours. Beside me was Kraken Not Stirred, original music based on nerd and geek culture (about Dr. Who, Star Wars, Firefly, etc.)
On the other side was Black Currant Jewelry, which was absolutely gorgeous handcrafted earrings, necklaces and more. It took her almost four hours to set up her stock display and all weekend, I was tempted by the sparklies.
Across the aisle was Brain Lag publishing, a small press representing local Toronto science fiction and fantasy authors. I picked up a copy of Tinker's Plague from them, which is a post-society-collapse novel set in Southern Ontario. But I was also tempted by Extreme Dentistry in which Mormon dentists fight against vampires.
My other aisle neighbour was Ira Nayman, author of Welcome to the Multiverse. I met him at my first convention, Can-Con back in 2015. We were having a laugh because it seemed like every time he visited my table, I made another big sale. He also has a cool campaign going: Reading Is Sexy, taking photos of people reading books.
I met so many great people, had a ton of interesting conversations and sold lots of books. It was an amazing weekend, though exhausting. I've already signed up for next year to do it all again.