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Guest Post: David Pedersen at Visioncon 2014


One way I promote myself as an indie author is to attend Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions. Visioncon was the first Science Fiction and Fantasy con I attended in 2013. I didn’t know a lot about it, and made the assumption it would be about the same size as other cons I’ve attended (between 600-800 people.) My hope was that Springfield, MO was far enough away from Kansas City that I would be introducing my fantasy novel, Angst, to a new audience. I was more than a little surprised when more than 1,500 people began to line up at registration, and after the first day I knew I’d be back.

I had concerns this year about going back to Visioncon this year. The venue moved from Springfield, MO to Branson due to the old hotel shutting down, and some con goers who attended last year announced they wouldn’t be able to make it. I was also worried about the weather. Basically, we’ve been at war with ice elementals and white walkers for months and another attack was imminent. (The forecasters thought we’d get 12″ of snow in Kansas City, about four hours north of Branson.)

I arrived at 11:00 a.m. Friday and spent an hour scrambling to get checked in and set up my table before noon. By the time I dropped luggage off in my room, a line had formed for registration. In spite of the oncoming storm, and the new location, people showed up. Visioncon has some faithful attendees, and for good reason. This con is run very well and the staff is exceptional, great to work with, and well prepared. I should also mention that the Radisson in Branson was a great place to host Visioncon. Nice rooms and a friendly staff. Next time I visit Branson, I’ll stay there.

angst 1

I’ve never had to attend a convention by myself, and while it’s possible, I know it wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun or successful. The rest of my team, Cristi and Brandon, arrived Friday evening. Cristi is the best, not only is she my spokesmodel, but she’s also on my alpha team for critiquing my books. When people stop to visit, they quickly find she is much more than a pretty face. Over the winter I made a new costume for Cristi, and needless to say she rocked it! I’m pretty sure more people are coming to visit her than me these days; I think they just tend to buy the books by accident. Cristi’s boyfriend Brandon gets the less glorious job of filling in the blanks. He takes pictures, grabs food, and covers the table when we run off pretending to be famous. I love it when they are both able to make it!

Most conventions I attend seem to focus on Science Fiction, or Fantasy, or books, or anime. Visioncon walks a fine line that successfully balances all genres. They have solid guests. Last year was Aaron Douglas, Chief from Battlestar Galactica, and this year Ernie Hudson, Emmett from Ghostbusters. They also bring in artists, writers, and cosplay guests so there is something for everyone.

One of my favorite things about Visioncon from last year was the costumes, and this year didn’t disappoint. While there are always a few duct tape warriors whose crafting talents are still better than mine 😉 you can tell that everyone goes all out for Visioncon. So many great costumes, and some that look like they came right out of Hollywood. From Game of Thrones and superheroes to Doctor Who and Star Trek, you’ll find a great representation of all genres at Visioncon.

angst 2

Room parties at conventions are a great opportunity to mingle with everyone, make friends, and drink – a lot! Saturday night was just an awesome time! Hanging out with some new friends, we made the rounds, starting at the always amazing Mojo room party and ending with some dancing. (Okay, let’s be honest, everyone else was dancing while I sorta stood still, smiled, and rocked back and forth. I’m pretty sure I rocked in time to the music. I think.)

All of this fun, and I sold some books. I actually sold the same quantity as last year, with many readers coming back to purchase the sequel, Buried in Angst. (A good sign!) Sales on the last day of a con are usually solid as people who had been considering make up their mind. Unfortunately we had to leave early on Sunday. Shortly after I got back from my very, very important Starbucks run, it began to sleet. We packed up and got out of there fast so we could spend the next five hours driving slow (the trip there took about three.) The area around Branson is very hilly and quite a few cars ended up in the ditch. After dodging pickup trucks facing the wrong way and a very sleepy truck driver, I was glad to make it home without incident.

If you haven’t been to this convention, I highly recommend you put Visioncon on your list of cons to visit. I know we will be back in 2015!

You can see pics I took on Facebook or Google+

David’s Author Page

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