programMy first show of 2016 happened this past weekend at MarsCon in Williamsburg, VA. My kudos to the convention staff, especially Artist/Author Alley coordinator Amy Smith, for labeling all the tables for easy set-up. That’s a simple thing, but so many book fairs and conventions don’t do that. When they don’t, vendors need to chase someone down to find out which is their table!

I spent the weekend introducing new readers and gamers to the City of the Gods Universe, my historical supernatural book Utopea, and my new horror release Mother of Ghosts. Past customers from RavenCon stopped by to say hello, as well as other readers who had discovered my books through various Facebook and Twitter campaigns. The most popular item on my table this time was The Last Goddess. I received many positive comments about the quality of the comic.

Foreground: Ms. Knowitall and E.G. Gaddess. I'm lurking in the background.  Photo by Charlie Stayton
Foreground: Ms. Knowitall and E.G. Gaddess. I’m lurking in the background.
Photo by Charlie Stayton

One of the best things about tabling at an event (other than sales, of course!) is meeting other creators. Ms. Knowitall and E. G. Gaddess of DreamPunk Press were delightful next-door neighbors who went above and beyond the call of dealer duty by tripping to Party City for spinning mirror balls to light the rather dark hallway in which our tables sat. There was some discussion that this hallway was actually haunted. However, I saw no ghosts. I did see a rather “shroudy” character from The Force Awakens wander by. (Yes, it was someone cosplaying Rey. And yes, I had to Google this character’s name. Can we talk about Star Trek now?)

Gaming! Steampunk! Charlie Stayton! Sounds like an adventure to me . . .
Gaming! Steampunk! Charlie Stayton! Sounds like an adventure to me . . .

Just down the row from me was Charlie Stayton, a plucky adventurer who can tell you a thing or two about robbing airships. Charlie was showcasing the Tephra Steampunk Roleplaying Game. Check out the free Tephra stuff at crackedmonocle.com . Charlie was a congenial instigator and participant in all the hallway shenanigans around our tables. Don’t miss the chance to play in one of his demo games at a quality con near you!

Travis Sivart (shown here with optional minion) is the creative director and host of the Talk of the Tavern radio show.
Travis Sivart (shown here with optional minion) is the creative director and host
of the Talk of the Tavern radio show.

Whether you hang out at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest or a certain cigar lounge, you can find unlimited (and sometimes inappropriate) entertainment by storyteller Travis I. Sivart. My little corner of MarsCon was livened considerably by his wit and enthusiasm for creative collaboration. I’ve just started reading his book Journal of a Stranger and am happily intrigued by the dimension-crossing adventures within. Steampunk fans should definitely check out his books and short stories. Top hat fans should check out his snazzy headshot at his website!

While I didn’t get to see any panels, MarsCon did offer plenty to do. I managed to pop into the dealer’s room, see part of the costume contest, and enjoy some of the Splendid Teapot Racing — and it’s always fun to be crammed in an elevator with a couple of Daleks. It’s definitely a convention I would attend again. I opted to sneak out a bit early on Sunday as a fall of unexpected snow was gumming up the roads. As I post this, we’re anticipating another “snowstorm” to hit in a day or two. With weather forecasts ranging from a few inches to “historic blizzard!” I might be better served to consult the Oracle in the City of the Gods for more info.

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