Con Report: StokerCon 2019

StokerCon 2019 imageIf you’re here to find a copy of my alternate history presentation, you’re in the right place! Scroll, read, and enjoy.

I might not be a horror fan, but you won’t find a nicer group of creative people. I was immediately welcomed into the fold at StokerCon 2019, held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I had a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday

Since my publishers, Jennifer Barnes and John Edward Lawson of Raw Dog Screaming Press, live fairly close to me, we traveled to the convention together. After an uneventful afternoon flight, we checked into the hotel and enjoyed dinner at a nearby brew pub. Then it was early to bed since we had some nonstop days ahead of us.

Thursday

A giant hotel room bed to myself and no hungry cats to feed in the morning? I slept in until 11 AM and it was glorious. In the afternoon, I helped set up the RDSP table in the dealer room and began my main purpose for attending the convention: chatting with people and hopefully selling them a book or two.

I slipped out later in the evening to moderate a panel on making your work stand out from the slush pile. The conversation meandered a bit, but I think I managed to wrangle the panelists into contributing some useful knowledge to the audience. The main take-away point? Read the submission guidelines. Follow the submission guidelines.

Afterward, I had a lovely dinner with some friends from the Seton Hill University In Your Write Mind program, then a quiet evening in the hotel room doing some reading.

StokerCon 2019 dealer room

With Jennifer Barnes at the RDSP table.

Friday

Coffee, then back in the dealer room! A quick break in the afternoon to attend my reading, where I shared a scene from Steel Blood. I already don’t particularly care for pistachios, but I’ll never look at them the same way again, thanks to author Jeff Strand, who read a hilarious short story.

Later that evening was the mass author book signing, then the RDSP room party! I met some people in person that I’d otherwise only interacted with online, which is always fun. I stayed up way too late, drank way too much wine, and regret nothing.

StokerCon 2019 alt historySaturday

Dealer room time again. I sold a lot of books at this convention, you guys. Seriously, it was awesome. This time, my mid-day break came in the form of my alternate history presentation. The audience was small, but intimate, and everyone joined in on creating some fun worlds. Our nexus point event centered around the Cuban Missile Crisis, and our true alternate history assumed that the Hollow Earth theory was real. Click the link below to download the PDF version of my presentation.

Creating Stories by Changing the Past StokerCon 2019

That evening, I attended the Bran Stoker Awards and got to cheer on Raw Dog Screaming Press as John and Jennifer accepted the Specialty Press Award. I’m so proud to be part of this amazing publishing company.

Sunday

Sold a few more books in the dealers room, then it was time to say goodbye and head to the airport again. By this time, I was completely wiped out and I needed some introvert time. Luckily, my husband had dinner ready at home after he picked me up and I got some cat snuggles duringĀ Game of Thrones.

Would I ever return to StokerCon? Absolutely. No guarantees on attending next year in the UK, but this is definitely a convention I’ll be keeping on my radar.


The final haul:

StokerCon 2019 haul

Purchases:

From the StokerCon 2019 swag bag:

StokerCon 2019 Schedule!

StokerCon 2019 imageI’m excited to attend my first StokerCon this week, in Grand Rapids, Michigan! This is not a convention I plan to attend normally, but the stars aligned to make attending this year too awesome to pass up, such as my publisher Raw Dog Screaming Press winning this year’s Specialty Press Award.

For most of the event, you’ll be able to find me at the RDSP table in the dealer’s room, where my books will be available despite the lack of blatant horror. I do have some spots on the schedule though:

Thursday

  • 7 PM: Be a Diamond in the Slush Pile Rough (panel)
    • Tired of getting lost in the stack of unread submissions? Do you want your work to stand out as the diamond in the rough? Learn the top editing tips that can help you rise above the slush pile and get published.
    • With Michael Cieslak, Norman Prentiss, J.D. Barker, and April Grey

Friday

  • 12 PM: Reading
    • With Jeff Strand and Peggy Christie
  • 5 PM: Mass Autograph Session & Ice Cream Social

Saturday

  • 1 PM: Creating Stories by Changing the Past (presentation)
    • Join author and editor J.L. Gribble for an overview of the alternate history genre, followed by world-building activities with audience interaction to create various alternate histories of our own. Appropriate for both readers and creators.

I’m getting to the hotel on Wednesday evening and leaving Sunday morning, so there’s plenty of time to hang out if you’d like to meet for a meal, drink, coffee, or just a chat! I’m attending the awards ceremony on Saturday night, but not the banquet, so I’ll definitely be looking for dinner buddies for that time.

Will I see you there?