Tag Archives: book signing

Upcoming Book Signings for 2017

Hello, True Believers! It’s October, and the nip in the air signals the oncoming end of 2017. But it also signals Halloween and the holiday season. This is one of my favorite times of the year.

My book signings have been a bit sparser this year, but I do have two more coming up in the next few months. One I’ve been committed to for several months and another that I just applied for. Here’s all the pertinent info.

Fantasticon Fort Wayne, Oct. 28-29

I’m returning to my new “hometown” comic-con! Once again, I’ll be joined by my co-authors/collaborators Nick Hayden and Eric Anderson. Nick and I will hopefully have copies of our new book, Zorsam and the God Who Devours, which we co-wrote with Aaron Brosman, available for purchase. The guest list will include several actors from The Walking Dead, a few comic book artists, and a replica of the Optimus Prime truck from the Transformers movies (if you can call that a “guest.”

The venue will be the Grand Wayne Center in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. Admission is cheap, so don’t miss it!

According to the show’s website:

Fantasticon is a mid-size show created for true comic book and pop culture collectors and fans. The fans that come to our shows are true collectors that are looking for those rare items for their personal collections. Most leave very satisfied as we pride ourselves on having great dealers and artists at our shows. If you collect it, you will find it at a Fantasticon Show.

It’ll be a great way to your Halloween weekend!

Seventh Annual Allen County Public Library Author Fair, Nov. 11

Another returning favorite. I’ll be one of 70 local authors attending this event at the main branch of the Allen County Public Library in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. There will also be author-led panel discussions (fingers crossed that I get in one) on various subjects. Best of all, admission is free!

You can learn more about the event and the library here.

See you around, True Believers!

In Anticipation of Gen-Con 50

Image courtesy of DDO Players.

Next week is the biggest convention I attend as an author: Gen-Con. The show is celebrating its 50th anniversary. That’s an incredible run! The show gets bigger every year even without having huge celebrity guests all the time. They sold out of four-day badges a month ago!

As usual, though, the show snuck up on me. Yes, I paid for my table months ago, but since I have this crazy habit of keeping myself constantly busy, I don’t think about what else I could do at the show until it’s nearly upon me. I like to enjoy the cons I table at, so I try to attend some of the events at the show. The problem is Gen-Con is so huge, many of the events sell out months ahead of time. That isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of other events to attend, but it is a bit disappointing to see some of the more interesting things sell out that far in advance.

Another bummer is the fact that I won’t be staying at one of the adjacent hotels to the Indiana Convention Center like I’ve been doing for several years. Let’s just say things didn’t work out for that to happen. So, I had to get a room at a hotel seven miles away, which means making a potentially long commute every day to the convention. I’m not looking forward to that.

I won’t have any “new” books with me, but not because I haven’t been writing. No, my next book, Zorsam and the God Who Devours, which I co-authored with Nick Hayden and Aaron Brosman, just won’t be published in time for the convention. It’s still a few months away. (More on that later).

On the bright side, I’m happy to announce that I’ve been invited to be on a panel! (G-Fest must’ve been the start of some good luck for me). Specifically, it’s the Christianity and Gaming panel put on by the Christian Gamers Guild. I’ve attended that panel most years I’ve gone to Gen-Con, so it was a surprise and an honor to be asked to be on it. I’m not sure what to expect. It’s only the third time I’ve ever been on a panel. I’m excited.

Other than that, I’m eager to meet all my Gen-Con friends in Authors Avenue again, and, of course, all of you wonderful readers!

See you in Indy!

It’ll Be Fantasticon!

I’ve added another signing to my itinerary, True Believers. In fact, I just bought the table a few minutes ago as I write this. For the first time, I will be attending a local convention as a vendor. In this case, it’s Fantasticon 2016 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the Grand Wayne Center October 29-30.

I won’t be the only noteworthy person there, though. My friend and fellow Children of the Wells creator Nick Hayden will be joining me at the same table. We’ll be selling and signing our individual books and, obviously, some CotW collections. However, my brother Jarod, who has done some great illustrations for my short stories and YouTube show, will be at the table next door selling his artwork. The icing on the cake is if Brian Scherschel and I can get our Godzilla podcast going by then, he may also join us for part of the con to promote that.

This sounds like a recipe for awesome!

According to its website,

Fantasticon is a mid-size show created for true comic book and pop culture collectors and fans. The fans that come to our shows are true collectors that are looking for those rare items for their personal collections. Most leave very satisfied as we pride ourselves on having great dealers and artists at our shows. If you collect it, you will find it at a Fantasticon Show.

Fantasticon is proud to have a presence in multiple cities throughout the mid-west. Currently we are in four different cities in Michigan and Ohio, and expect to expand into Indiana in the near future. We also, are very proud of the fact that our admission price is the lowest of any other comparable shows. And the cost for being an exhibitor or artist at the Fantasticon is far less than any comparable comic cons out there.

In other words, this is a smaller traveling convention. If you’ve never been to a con before, this would be a great one to start with. It’s smaller and more manageable. Don’t be crazy like me and start with something huge like Gen-Con (although I did attend a tiny Star Trek convention in high school in Warsaw, Indiana).

I don’t know who the special guests will be, but at its previous stops the con has featured the likes of Billy Dee Williams (aka Lando Calrissian) and Michael Dorn (aka Worf) as well as some comic artists and writers, among others. In other words, I’ll probably be in good company.

Be there or be square, because it’s gonna be…

 

Press Release for Noble County All-IN Block Party June 25

No blog this week (sorry!), but I do have a press release for an upcoming event whereat I will be one of many authors having signings. My friend and fellow writer Nick Hayden will also be present.

Well over a dozen authors—all with a connection to Noble County—are scheduled for a mass appearance during the Noble County ALL-IN Block Party in Albion June 25.

Numerous activities are planned around the courthouse square in Albion, as part of Indiana’s Bicentennial year. The authors are one part of a celebration of all that’s good about Noble County, and they’ll be available to sign and sell their books, or just talk about their work. Their booth, along with all others, will open at 10 a.m., and go on until 3 p.m.

The event will also include food, activities, and entertainment by local groups and organizations. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with an Opening Ceremony at 9:30. The event’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/NobleBlockParty/

The list of authors planning to attend so far include:

Carol Bender, retired school teacher for Central Noble Community Schools in Noble County, has three published books: two children’s books, The Doctor’s Little Stowaway, and Grace’s Birthday Surprise, and one adult book. In Quest of Gold, the story of a teenager’s journey during the California Gold Rush, would also be acceptable for middle school age children and young adults.  All three books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books a Million. http://carolbender.com/meet-grace_268.html

Lindsay Bentz writes under the pen name Daisy Jordan and has published 11 YA and women’s fiction novels, including the Spin the Bottle series—YA fiction that adults will also enjoy as a flashback to high school days. She writes about relationships and friendships, and can be found online at http://www.daisyjordan.com/.

Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning inspirational historical romance series The Everstone Chronicles, published by Whitaker House. Her books include: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, and The Captive Imposter. Her newest release, The Cautious Maiden, will be available October 2016. Dawn is also a full-time mom to a precious little boy, and a baby due this summer. She serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne. www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com

Sheli Emenhiser has written Crushed But Not Broken:There Are Worse Things in Life Than a Mousetrap Hanging From Your Pom Pom. Sheli writes about “how I endured an abusive relationship and how God brought me out of that darkness into His wonderful light. “ She works at Elijah Haven Crisis Intervention Center as a domestic violence advocate, helping other women rebuilt their self-esteem and self-worth, and lives in Topeka with her husband, and has three children. https://www.facebook.com/SheliEmenhiserCrushedbutnotBroken

Beth Friskney tells the story of Rome City and the remarkable people who once lived there in R is for Rome City. The book covers Sylvan Lake as well as Rome City, a resort town that boasted the beautiful Kneipp Springs, famous author Gene Stratton-Porter, and a history of everything from the infamous Blacklegs and Regulators to major league baseball commissioner Ford Frick. Friskney lives on Sylvan Lake with her husband and two children, and is heavily involved in Rome City events and organization.

Nick Hayden is the author of the fantasy novels Trouble on the Horizon and The Remnant of Dreams, as well as short story collections, including Dreams & Visions, and the novella The Isle of Gold. He co-hosts a story-telling podcast, “Derailed Trains of Thought,” and helps run the Children of the Wells web serial. Other books include the fantasy The Unremarkable Squire, a flash fiction collection, Another World, and the fantasy Bron & CaleaVolume 1, with Laura Fischer. www.worksofnick.com

Together Mark R. Hunter and Emily Hunter wrote the local history books Images of America: Albion and Noble County and Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With the Albion Fire Department. Their newest work takes a humorous look at Indiana history: Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All. She also helped him produce the young adult novel The No-Campfire Girls and a collection of his humor columns, Slightly Off the Mark. Mark R Hunter also has two published romantic comedies and a short story collection in the Storm Chaser series, set in Indiana. Their works can be found at www.markrhunter.com, or on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Mark-R-Hunter/e/B0058CL6OO.

Rev. Pam Lash is the author of The Voice & Two Hours on Tuesday: What Happened When We Went Prayer Walking. Lash, a certified addiction counselor, has a doctorate in ministry and lives in Albion, where she serves as an associate pastor and worship leader at the Assembly of God Church. She has three children, three grandsons, and a great-grandson. https://www.amazon.com/Voice-Two-Hours-Tuesday-Happened-ebook/dp/B00NHQEICU; Her Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/The-Voice-and-Two-Hours-on-Tuesday-1428332754135581/.

Nathan Marchand hails from the furthest corner of Noble County. He earned a B.A. in professional writing from Taylor University Fort Wayne. His first novel, the military science fiction thriller Pandora’s Box, was published in 2010. He and Nick Hayden are two of the co-creators of the ongoing fantasy serial, Children of the Wells. When not writing, Nate enjoys other creative endeavors like photography, making YouTube videos, and occasionally saving the world. www.NathanJSMarchand.com

R.A. Slone started with short stories and eventually worked her way into writing full-length novels. Slone writes Young Adult Paranormal, as well as Inspirational Fiction and short fiction for the 4County Mall, under the name Rita Robbins. Her website, including her blog and information about her writing, is at http://www.raslone.com/. She will have copies of her YA Paranormal novel, Ghost in the Blue Dress, available at the author appearance.

Greg Smith’s first call to write came in Junior High, but he passed on the assignment until, at age forty, his wife urged him to finally accept the challenge. Since then he’s published three suspense novels: Holy Lotto, Wrong Left Turn, and 3 Times the Sparrow, all available on Kindle, Nook, and in softcover paperback thru Amazon (Nook thru Barnes & Noble). A much asked for sequel to Holy Lotto, Holy Addendum, is ready to go to print and should be available soon. His website is at gregsnovels.weebly.com.

Susan Thuillard was born and raised in rural Indiana and has worked in occupations as varied as ranching, law enforcement, and accounting. She’s published six books that are just as varied, including mysteries and thrillers, which can be found on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/M.-Susan-Thuillard/e/B00JJG4IN6.

Belinda Wilson is a local author of children’s books, who retired from Parkview Noble Hospital in 2015, after more than 30 years. Belinda has been featured at Summer’s Stories and The Wilson Gallery in Kendallville, as well as First Friday events in Goshen. She will have copies of her first children’s book, The Secret Lives of Fireflies, a wonderfully imaginative story of fireflies and fairies, available at the event.

Be there or be square!

On Shameless Self-Promotion

This may or not not be an artist’s depiction of one of my book signings. 😛

I’ve made it no secret no secret that I’m a shameless self-promoter. In fact, it could be argued that I sometimes flaunt it. However, this week I had two interesting thoughts related to that this week. Well, more like one thought and one realization.

First, my self-promotion got me in a bit of trouble. I shared my latest blog in a Facebook group I’m in, and not one but two admins messaged me after deleting my post telling me not to do that since the group had a rule against self-promotion posts (because otherwise the members would be bombarding the group with them). It wasn’t the first time this had happened. Admittedly, it was kinda my fault since I’d forgotten about that rule.

One admin asked me why I promoted myself. “I’m a writer,” I replied. “It’s what I do.” She said she wrote haikus but didn’t go around saying, “Look at me! Look at me!” I had to fight the urge to start an argument.

“Why?” you ask. Because the difference between me and this admin is—at the risk of sounding rude—I’m a professional and she’s a hobbyist (as far as I know). I don’t know if she has a blog where she posts her haikus, but if she’s okay with only a few people reading her stuff, that’s fine. I, on the other hand, want to grow an audience because writing is my trade and vocation. If I am to be (more) successful, I must get people to read my stuff. I figured that since I’d built a community in this Facebook group, that’d be a great place to generate interest. Apparently not. I understand why they have the rule, but I didn’t like the attitude I was getting from the admin. However, I can forgive it because she may not understand where I’m coming from. I know promotion can come across as arrogant—just look at Donald Trump (yes, I went there)—but it’s necessary in my line of work. If you have the right attitude, though, it can work. It may seem paradoxical that self-promotion and humility can go together, but I do believe it’s possible.

Ironically, I learned that even I have limits on my self-promotion, which brings me to my second thought. I realized that when I’m trying to get people interested in books (or anything I make/do), I’m filled with passionate adamancy. I’m a one-man hype machine. But when people come back to me and say they loved my stuff, I almost want to refuse their praise. But…I have friends who are more talented and/or successful than me! I think.

Yeah, I’m weird.

I’m not 100-percent sure why I think like this. It might be because I feel like I’m the lesser of my peers. I’m in awe of their talent and think they’re more deserving of people’s attention and adoration. Or I think that if I was as talented and/or savvy as my more successful peers, then I’d deserve the praise. In other words, I see a disconnection. Does that make sense?

What do you think, True Believers? Do you have similar struggles? How do you deal with these thoughts?

Falling Through the Cracks

Get it? 😛

I’ve written many times before about time management and how I tend to take on more projects than I possibly could. Well, this week, that bit me in the butt—hard. Remember how I was supposed to have a book signing at the North Webster Public Library Monday?

I completely forgot about it.

You read that right. I didn’t even show up at my own book signing. That’s never happened before. I’m the kind of person who keeps his commitments. I feel terrible if I don’t. I don’t like letting people down. Yet despite seeing promotions for my signing and even blogging about it, it completely slipped my mind. Since I was scheduled to work at my day job, I couldn’t even show up late. I spent the next 24 hours beating myself up over it until I talked with the librarians this afternoon and found out all is well. I’ve been rescheduled for June 6 from 3:30pm-6:30pm.

Me yesterday when I got the call from the library.

I had no excuse or justification for forgetting it. The problem is I’ve had a hundred other things on my mind, from writing/creative projects to family concerns to a ballroom dance showcase this weekend, and everything in between. Something was bound to get lost in the shuffle, to fall through the cracks. It’s not the first time it’s happened, but it was never something this major. It was usually just something like forgetting to blog (I’ve apologized many a time for that) or neglecting my writing time (a greater crime for writers). Never have I neglected an entire event centered on me that was promoted for several weeks, if not longer, beforehand. My only solace is the library is too nice to make me wear the proverbial bag of shame over my head whenever I’m there.

At the height of my metaphorical self-flagellation over this, I told myself I should just cut out everything that isn’t work or writing from my life to avoid more gaffs like this. Now that I’m in my right mind, I don’t think I’ll go that far. I’ll certainly put some thought into cutting back on some things, though. More importantly, I’m going to be smarter about remembering my own schedule. Put it on my calendar or in my iPhone as a reminder.

Or marry a secretary. 😛

The point is I can’t afford to make a mistake like this again. It was unprofessional and irresponsible. At least it only happened for relatively small event. If I forget Gen-Con….

So, be it known that future events will not sneak up on me like one of Master Heeyah’s ninjas. 😛

UPCOMING BOOK SIGNINGS: Gen-Con 2016 and National Library Week

You get two posts today, True Believers! A new story and an announcement.

I currently have two book signings scheduled for 2016 (more will probably be on the way). The first will be at the North Webster Community Public Library in North Webster, Indiana. It’ll be held April 11 3:30pm-6:30pm. It’s part of their celebration of National Library Week, which starts that day. I’ll have most, if not all, of my books with me, but I’ll be focusing on my newest ones, Ninjas and Talking Trees and 42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom. You can find out more on the library’s website.

The big one as usual, though, is Gen-Con. The “best four days in gaming” will be held at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium August 4-7 in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’ll be in Authors’ Avenue in the vendor’s hall, but you’ll probably also see me attending events and enjoying the con. I’ll hopefully have added one or two more titles to the long list of books I’ll be selling there. I can’t wait to see all my Gen-Con friends! You can find out more about the event on its website.

When I have other signings scheduled, I’ll be sure to let you know!

My Full Tri-Con 2015 Report

How many times can I apologize for missing “blog days” before you, dear readers, dump me like a bad boyfriend? It’s been a few weeks since I posted a video detailing some of my experiences at Tri-Con 2015 in Evansville, Indiana, and I promised a full blog on it, which only now am I writing.

I’ll say it, anyway: Sorry for the delay.

“And now for something completely different.”

Day One
Tri-Con got off to a rough start. I thought the vendor hall opened at noon, but it was gonna take me five hours to drive there. It didn’t help that I worked late the night before at my day job. So, I bought two bottles of 5-Hour Energy to get me through the day. I took one just before leaving and one more just before I arrived. Complicating matters, since both the CD player and tape player in Silver Sable (my car) weren’t working, I created a makeshift stereo system using my iPhone and a portable speaker. This disallowed me from using my phone’s GPS because of the battery drain, so I had to print out directions. It made things a bit more annoying.

My table.
My table.

After a harrowingly long drive, I arrived at the Holiday Inn where the con was being held. I was surprised to learn that the vendor hall opened at 2pm, and thanks to slipping from eastern time to central time (barely), I ended up being early instead of late. (I think. My brain was buzzing more than a beehive at the time). I set up shop and introduced myself to my neighbors, which included chiptunes artist Professor ShyGuy and anime crafts company Sweets Haven. I was glad we all got along since the vendor hall was cramped. The aisles were narrow and the vendors were practically sitting back-to-back.

I did manage a few sales that day. Here are photos of my first buyers (I regret I lost my note with their names. Sorry!):

DSCN9321 DSCN9323

As usual, I explored the convention and checked out the evening events. I quickly learned that this was a party con. I think I saw more drunk people during the three days of this small convention (400-500 in attendance, at most) than I did all four days of Gen-Con, which had 60,000 in attendance. One of the events I checked out briefly was a what I thought would be a concert, but it was more of a rave. Raves aren’t my thing, but I did take a few photos and videos of the dancers.

I left to check into my hotel room—courtesy of a friend of a friend—and ran into a woman I’d met in the dealer hall. She wanted to talk with me about some stuff. We ended up chatting for at least two hours about reconciling faith with fandom because she had concerns about her teenage son. She and her pre-teen daughter were the only Christians in her family, which made things even harder. I think that conversation was the most important one I had the entire weekend and was one of the biggest reasons God wanted me there. It was a miracle I was still awake since my energy drink had worn off.

I checked into the hotel room and met my roommates. They were a bit rough around the edges, but despite starting as strangers, we got along and became friends.

Day Two
I slept in a bit since the dealer hall didn’t open until 11pm, I think. I took that opportunity to get a photo-op with Michele Specht and Chuck Huber who, among other things, are cast members from the fan-created series Star Trek Continues. Both were enthusiastic about their work, especially Michele. My gosh! And people think I’m crazy on caffeine. She’s a whirlwind!

Me with Chuck Huber and Michele Specht (who accidentally cosplayed Kim Possible).
Me with Chuck Huber and Michele Specht (who accidentally cosplayed Kim Possible).

I regretted not wearing my 10th Doctor costume on Saturday like I normally do since I missed some great photo-ops.

Maids Café waitress.
Maids Café waitress.

As for the vendor hall, it was shockingly slow. The most interesting thing that happened was one of the waitresses from the Maids Café came by and asked vendors for orders, so I got homemade Butterfingers. They were delicious! I made sure to tip her.

A attended the Star Trek Continues screening/panel, though I missed the screening. It was still great seeing Michele and Chuck interact with fans, though.

Loki winning at Cards Against Humanity.
Loki winning at Cards Against Humanity.

The next event was another 21 and up party, so I skipped out on it. The alternative was an open play for Cards Against Humanity. I decided to watch before trying it, and I quickly learned it wasn’t the game for me (though I did make some great jokes while watching). I especially didn’t want to play when I saw Loki (a cosplayer) winning almost every round. He is Loki, after all.

Day Three
The last day of the con was one of the slowest, as you would imagine. I did wear my Doctor cosplay, but that was because I attended a “steampunk prayer service.” Only six or so people were there, but I still enjoyed it. It was presided over by an Anglican minister, so I got a taste of how that denomination conducted their services. It was educational. I gave the minister one of my business cards, and he came by later and bought a copy of 42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom.

My favorite photo of the weekend. You might be cool, but you'll never be the Doctor riding a speeder bike while sonic-ing his enemies cool. :P
My favorite photo of the weekend. You might be cool, but you’ll never be the Doctor riding a speeder bike while sonic-ing his enemies cool. 😛

When not in the dealer hall, I wandered around for some photo-ops. At 3pm, the vendor hall closed an hour before the con did, which was kinda weird. After packing up and saying goodbye to all my friends, new and old, I began the five-hour drive home.

The 42 Challenge
If you’ve followed my social media, you’ll know that my 42 co-author Eric Anderson, founder of Nerd Chapel, was attending Grand-Con in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that weekend and challenged me to see who could sell more copies of our devotional book. The loser would buy the winner a board game expansion. I was probably a bit overconfident. Eric beat me 20-6. It helped he went to a larger con, but that’s not an excuse. I will make good on my promise and buy him a game.

I hope you enjoyed this report. You can watch my video on the con here.

Godspeed, readers!

Upcoming Book Signings for 2015

I haven’t kept up with listing dates for book signings for a while mostly because I haven’t had many for a long time. But with two new books out, I’ve been stepping up my game. I have four—that’s right, four—upcoming signings in the next several months! These include:

September 25-27: Tri-Con, Evansville, IN – This was a last-minute addition. I know the organizers for this convention, and they’ve been trying to get me to come for nearly a year. I kept postponing a commitment because I didn’t know if I’d be starting grad school this month. That didn’t pan out, so I inquired about getting a table several months ago. The cheaper tables were sold out, so I tried to get some writer friends to join me so we could get a larger table, but that sparked such a long debate, we missed that chance, too. Then last week I was asked to man the Fans For Christ/Christian Gamers Guild table at the convention, where I’ll also be selling 42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom. At least, that’s what it seems. I’ve also been offered my own table. Yeah, it’s a little confusing. Hopefully, I’ll have it sorted out soon.

Tri-Con will be held at the Holiday Inn Airport. For more info, check out the convention’s website.

October 11: Joanna’s Treats, Kendallville, IN & the Cupbearer in Auburn, IN – My friend/co-author Nick Hayden and I will be two of many authors selling and signing books at Joanna’s, a family-owned ice cream parlor in Kendallville, Indiana, from 10AM-2PM. Then I’ll be joining many of the same authors at the Cupbearer in Auburn, Indiana, from 3PM-7PM. Joanna’s is located on Main Street in Kendallville, and the Cupbearer is across from the courthouse in Auburn.

November 7: Author Fair at Whitley County Historical Museum in Columbia City, IN – Nick Hayden and I will attend this author fair held at a small town museum. I don’t quite see the connection, but I’m not asking questions. These people contacted us themselves.

Writing and publishing workshops will be held from 10AM-12PM followed by the author fair from 1PM-4PM. For more info, go to the museum’s website.

November 14: Author Fair at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN – Nick and I will return to the annual author fair at the Allen County Public Library in downtown Fort Wayne. It’s being held from 1PM-4PM. You can get more info on the ACPL’s website.

My Mandatory Gen-Con 2015 Report (Part 4)

(Continued from Part 3).

Forgive me, True Believers, for my delay in completing this series. I do my best to post blogs on Tuesday and/or Thursday, but that doesn’t always work out. I lead a busy life.

The siege of Cardhalla.
The siege of Cardhalla.

Before I continue with the last day of Gen-Con 2015, I neglected to mention that I witnessed the fall of Cardhalla on my way back to the hotel that Saturday night. Cardhalla is a massive display created by con-goers using cards from the many popular games at the convention (though most seemed to be from Magic: The Gathering). Essentially, it’s a “city” consisting of houses of cards. On Saturday night, con-goers throw coins at the card towers to topple them and the money is collected to be donated to charity. I didn’t throw any coins since I didn’t have any, but it was fun to watch. One large tower refused to fall despite everyone’s efforts. A guy even tried throwing a Zip-loc bag of money at it, but he missed. I kept joking that any towers left standing should be “destroyed” by Godzilla cosplayers. Because why not?

Now on to day four…

The day did start with a bit of frustration. I ended up being late to the Christian Gamers Guild/Fans For Christ worship service because Jarod and I had to pack up the car and check out before it started at 9AM. We had to be out by 1PM, and since I was going straight from the service to the vendor hall at 10AM, we had to do all of that beforehand. Eric and Jarod went ahead of me while I took the last of our stuff to my car in the parking garage below. I had about fifteen minutes to get to the service—but realized I left my 10th Doctor costume in our room’s closet! I rushed upstairs, got a new card key, rode the elevator up, and got to the room, and grabbed my costume. By the time I returned to the car, I had only five minutes to get to the service. It was fairly close by in another hotel (in fact, it was held in the same room as the Five Year Mission concert the night before), but I still ended up being five minutes late.

Derek White the "Geekpreacher."
Derek White the “Geekpreacher.”

Regardless, I found Jarod and sat with him. Eric was helping with the service. The worship leader (whose name escapes me, unfortunately) was dressed as a bard (gotta love cosplay in church). After singing and communion, the message was, as usual, delivered by Derek White “The Geekpreacher.” He came dressed in what I’d call “LARP armor” (minus the sword) and preached on Ephesians 6:10-18 (the “armor of God” passage, naturally). He said he conducted a poll on Facebook for the title of his message: it’d either be “The Power of Fairy Tales” or “Here There Be Dragons.” The latter won, obviously. The highlight for me was hearing him get the entire crowd—the largest ever for this event—to recite the most famous line from the original Conan the Barbarian movie. He asked, “What is best in life?” The crowd replied, “To crush your enemies and see them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women.” (I left the last part off unsure they’d say it. It’s a Christian service, after all).

EDIT: Here’s a video of his sermon.

 

The bard who led worship (I didn't get her name, unfortunately. Sorry!)
The bard who led worship (I didn’t get her name, unfortunately. Sorry!)

I was surprised by how many people attended the con on Sunday. It was different sort of crowd, too. The usual 4-day attendees were there, but since Sunday is “family day” at the convention, many new people came. While I wouldn’t say it was as busy as Saturday was, it was still very active.

Here I am with Arthur, one of my most avid fans.
Here I am with Arthur, one of my most avid fans.

Regardless, I myself didn’t do as many exciting things that day. Eric left by early afternoon. I mostly interacted with some amazing cosplayers and sold my books. I even found I had returning fans! One guy even came by saying he remembered me from last year, having bought and read Destroyer and The Day After, and wanted more. I barely said two sentences before he grabbed both volumes of Children of the Wells and Pandora’s Box. It was the easiest $35 I’ve ever made.

The big highlight for me was meeting Marina Sirtis, an actress most famous for playing Deanna Troi on Star Trek: the Next Generation. While I wasn’t smitten with her like I was Summer Glau the day before, Mrs. Sirtis has had a greater influence on me since I’d been a Trekker since age three and was reared on both the original Star Trek and TNG. I didn’t have to wait long to see her since the line was short. Because of that, though, Mrs. Sirtis spent a few minutes with each fan talking with them as they got photos and/or an autograph. Like with Mrs. Glau, I intended to give Mrs. Sirtis one of my books. In this case, a copy of 42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom since one of my entries is about Troi. I wasn’t sure if she’d accept something with such strong religious overtones, but I thought I overheard her say to someone in line ahead of me that her husband was Catholic, so I thought I might have a chance.

Representing GameChurch while meeting the amazing Marina Sirtis.
Representing GameChurch while meeting the amazing Marina Sirtis.

When it was my turn, I got a photo with her and had a wonderful chat, telling her that I’d realized that one reason TNG resounded with me as a child was because Picard reminded me of my Dad and Troi reminded me of my Mom. “You must’ve had an awesome Mom,” said Mrs. Sirtis. “I did,” I replied. I seized the moment and gave her the book, explaining that it was a devotional for geeks and nerds. She was noticeably surprised by this. I then said I wanted her to have a copy as a thank you for coming since I wrote about Troi in an entry. “Let me read it,” she said. I turned to that page and she read it. “So, you use stories like this to illustrate the Scriptures?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied, simultaneously nervous and excited. “Thank you so much. I’ll read this on the plane back to England.”

I walked away a happy fanboy.

Safe to say when 4PM tolled, I was sad Gen-Con was over. Not only was it the four best days of gaming, it was four of the best days of my year. 🙂