I meant to post this the moment I got home from Montreal last weekend, but by then Violet and I were exhausted and just wanted to sleep. Then, Violet needed the computer for schoolwork, so it has taken me until now to finally get back to blogging.
Con*Cept was fun, and a nice change from Toronto-based conventions. Violet and I drove down to Brockville on Friday night and spent the night with her sister Georgina, then the three of us drove on to Montreal the following morning and arrived at 10:30 at the convention. As we were setting up our table, I was informed I was supposed to be on a panel right then. Apparently someone forgot to email me and let me know this crucial bit of information. I missed that panel, but I did two more that day, and a reading that night - much more than I could have hoped for, given how late I'd got my panel requests in. Georgina went off to explore Montreal while Violet and I started to make sales.
My first panel was on the definition of Urban Fantasy, on which two of my fellow panelists were Tanya Huff and Nancy Kilpatrick. Both women are authors I admire, and it was a lot of fun to discuss Urban/Contemporary Fantasy with them. The next panel was a discussion on the end of the world in sci/fi and fantasy fiction, which was perfect for me given the theme of Epoch.
My third panel of the day was all about Transformers, my favourite fantasy. There were about ten people in attendance, two of whom were Violet and Georgina. Georgina was bored out of her mind, poor girl. We went out for Indian buffet afterwards, a delicious meal for the low price of $70 for the three of us. Ouch. Thank God for Visa.
My reading was at nine that night, and it was sparsely attended - just five people, one of whom was Violet. However, another attendee was Tanya Huff, who told me she once flew to Calgary to do a reading to only two people. That made me feel better. I stayed for the reading of Taly Danan, author of The Phoenix Child and a new friend of mine, then I went off to do some writing before calling it a night. Overall, Saturday was a very good day.
Sunday was not so good. I woke up with a headache, and it got worse as the day progressed. Having the world's worst breakfast in the hotel cafeteria did not help, especially when I saw the bill. Seventeen dollars for bacon, ham and sausages with no flavour? I won't make that mistake again.
My first Sunday panel - Making Fantasy Worlds Believable - was at 10. By this point my headache had reached epic proportions, light was making it worse, and nausea had been thrown into the mix. I held my own as well as I could, but I was suffering badly. I had another panel immediately afterward - Is Fantasy Necessary? - so I ducked out quickly to grab some Tylenol. Big mistake. Five minutes later I had to excuse myself from the panel to go throw up in the bathroom. Not pleasant at all, depositing my $17 breakfast into the porcelain phone, but at least it took care of the nausea. Still, the headache was overwhelming, and ten minutes after the barfing I had to excuse myself for the final time to find somewhere to lie down. We'd checked out by this point, so I had to lie down in the car. I put my jacket over my face to block out the light and lay still for an hour, and that did the trick. I was able to function again, and I returned to the dealer's room to make what sales I could.
I made only one sale that Sunday - one copy of Section K - but on Saturday I sold eleven copies of Epoch, six Section K's and four Intergalactic Soul Hunters. Not a bad haul, but in practical terms that barely covered the costs of the hotel and my barfed-up breakfast, let alone the table fee and the gas for getting to and from Montreal. Most of the convention was a good experience, but it is doubtful I will return next year. And not just because of the breakfast.