We’ve been going to York Unleashed since it started in 2014, but it was special last year. It was special because I’d just signed the contract to get Alfie Slider vs the Shape Shifter published and I realised that I could attend next year (now this year!) as a trader. Even a year out I was getting excited at the idea of being part of something that had come to be one of the highlights of our family year, so when I saw that there was a new comic-con event planned for York I got in touch straight away.
Paul and Bethany, the organisers, were very friendly and asked if I would be a bigger part of the event. I offered to do a reading and Q&A, and gave some thought about how best to display the stall. Then time went into fast forward and before I knew it, it was the day itself!
So there we are! As you can see I had the full support of the kids, my eldest tried to wear his Alfie cosplay but it was too hot insde so that ended up being part of the stall instead 🙂 They love comic-cons, but this one had a game area with a great group of people who taught them both how to play the Pokemon card game which kept them busy.
When the time came for my reading, I got up to the stage and introduced myself to two rows of empty chairs. As the con was pretty quiet I’d prepared myself for that. I’d made some notes so that I had things to say, even if noone asked questions. It wasn’t going to bother me!
And then I started speaking, and the PA sounded ridiculously loud. It started fine, people stopped what they were doing and turned to listen. I spoke and then started reading…and slowly the noise of the con re-asserted itself over the PA. I finished the first reading, asked if there were any questions – there weren’t. I babbled something about where the stall was and disappeared from the stage. Blergh!
So, that part didn’t really go how I had intended but the rest of the day was great fun. I got to enjoy all the other speakers and performers, and chat to some lovely people who came by the stall. I was helped by being next to Martin Ballantyne, an actor who had been in both Harry Potter and Batman. I learned from listening to how he interacted with people, and from the time people spent waiting to talk to him, looking at my stall!
I’m hoping that Yor-Kon comes back next year, I’d love to do it again.