Monday, June 07, 2010

Back from ConCarolinas 2010

I spent this past weekend in Charlotte, NC at the wonderful little Sci fi/Fantasy convention, ConCarolinas. Unlike Steampunk World's Fair which was more of a vacation trip with light networking, ConCarolinas was a working convention for me.  I spoke on eight or so panels over the course of the weekend and typically sat at my book table when I wasn't at a panel. I reconnected with a couple writers and readers I'd met at previous events, met a good dozen writers for the first time, and I had the opportunity to chat with a ton of amazing readers both during panels and in the halls. This was my first year attending ConCarolinas as a guest, but I've attended the con and sat on the audience side of the table for several years now and I have to say, this is my favorite small (but growing quickly) regional con. I feel very fortunate that I was able to be a guest this year, and I hope they invite me back again next year.

This Con marked a first for me in that I had my own (half of a) table for the course of the con. What was this table for? Well, the first thing I did was drop freebies (bookmarks and magnets) on the table as I headed to my first panel, but once the panel was over, the responsible thing to do was sit in the provided chair behind my table, put my books up for display, and uh, wait.

Wait and hope someone would talk to me. Seriously. I never realized how awkward it could be to sit behind a table displaying books. Oh, I participated in the signing at Moonlight and Magnolias last year, and I sat behind a table at Raven*Con during my signing hour, but both of those instances lasted a short amount of time, and at both events I was fortunate enough to be sitting beside big name authors, so I chatted with the people in their lines. This con I was at my table for several hours at a time. This offered plenty of time for people watching (and costume watching--there were some great ones!) but the longer amount of time passed, the more awkward I felt sitting behind my table.

Now, you have to understand an important fact when I say I felt awkward: I'm painfully shy--very painfully shy. So, as I sat behind my table, I was simultaneously afraid no one would talk to me and that people would talk to me. Yeah, I'm that kind of crazy. I'm working on it. Practice makes improvement, right? And I most definitely got practice this weekend.

Thank you everyone who stopped by my table at the con. I had the opportunity to talk to so many amazing people, I lost count of how many books I signed, and I went through a couple hundred bookmarks. Several people stopped by the table to follow up on comments from panels, others just to chat, but everyone (well, almost everyone, but that is another post) was absolutely awesome and nice. You guys really made my convention experience, and though I returned from the con exhausted from a long weekend, I also returned with the extra encouragement to write knowing that you are waiting for more books.

I'll post more about who I saw and maybe a bit of a wrap up on some of the panels later in the week. In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a happy Monday!

(P.S. In the photo at the top of the post, I'm standing with the amazing authors who blog over at, the photo in the middle of the post features Sabrina Luna holding the first two Haven Novels, and the bottom picture is with Marcia Colette. Did I mention I got to hang out with incredible authors? LOL)


Anonymous said...

Hi I am painfully shy too. I hide at times but at other times I can't hide it at all. I don't feel as shy writing in a blog though (I think being shy has kind of turned me into a writer).

I think shy people are also sensitive and that sensitivity isn't all bad (although the shyness isn't much fun). I have received a lot of guidance from reading "The Twelve Gentle Steps To Overcoming Social Anxiety" and that has helped me to make some real progress although I am still a work in progress.

Marcia Colette said...

Dang. I've been meaning to put up a post on my adventures at ConCarolinas, but so far, I haven't gotten around to it. *sigh* One of these days. :-)

Alexandra said...

Hey Kalayna! We met briefly at Con (my husband Tally Johnson was at the table next to you) and I bought your first book. I'm LOVING it! Such an original idea! And I particularly liked your description of the change from human to cat forms and vice versa. It was just a feast for my imagination. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know.

Kalayna Price said...

Hey Alexandra! Thanks so much. I'm glad you are enjoying the book. It was great meeting you at the con and I hope we run into each other again!