Birmingham Horror Con – Halloween Special

This past weekend has been an absolute blast!
I may have been quiet online, but with good reason. I set off on Friday at around noon, my car bursting at the seams with stock and suitcases, on the road to Birmingham.
Somehow, despite a satnav malfunction or two, I arrived at my hotel a few hours later in one piece, where my fellow author and convention companion Nick Stead (author of the Hybrid series) was already waiting for me.  
We took our suitcases to our room, had a quick cup of tea, and then set off for the convention centre. Luckily the drive was a brief one, as driving through central Birmingham is not my idea of a good time! Thankfully the locals are rather good about letting you lane hop, as in my confusion I found myself almost heading the wrong way more than once.

The convention centre itself was just as I remembered it, though I think this time around the cash machines were turned off. Otherwise everything was the same, and we managed to set up our shared stall within less than an hour.
In February I had only my books, some flyers and some bookmarks, mainly thanks to having never worked a con before. Now, with a clear memory of so many gorgeous displays last time, I had arrived with banners and a custom made book stand (https://www.facebook.com/AMCMetalworks/) as well as boxes full of freshly printed books. You can see the fruits of our labours above. I think the stall turned out looking wonderful!
After setting up we headed back to the hotel, and had another cup of tea (we are British after all!) Then we took ourselves off into Birmingham to find somewhere to eat, and instead of managing to do so, somehow ended up wandering around for a while instead. We had intended to eat at a place that Nick’s father had reccomended, but it turned out to be so busy that we could not even get through the door!

A bit of searching led us back to a cute little place that was decked out for halloween, called ‘Sacks of Potatoes’. Seeing that it was covered in bloodied handprints, warning signs and cobwebs had us feeling right at home! They gave everyone some halloween hats which I opted to use as a stand for our tables tea-light, as I could barely get it over my hair! 

After a good meal, we went back to the hotel and continued to talk about werewolves for the rest of the night. On the way back we narrowly missed being flattened by a car but we’re still here so it all turned out OK in the end! Drivers in Birmingham all seem to have somewhere important to go and pedestrians are expected to understand that if you’ve not crossed the road by the time the light turns amber, you’re fair game! Haha. I’ve gotten too used to living in a country town and had almost forgotten how hectic cities can be.

The next day we woke early, dressed for the occasion with fangs courtesy of the very talented Steve Bosworth at HobbyFX (http://www.hobbyfx.com/). We arrived just before early-bird entry was due to open, and then the day began. For a while things were quiet as the con-goers made a preliminary scan of the tables, and then things began to pick up when general entry opened at 10am.

The crowd on Saturday was huge. People filed in and out, making their way round and back again with obvious glee at the sight of all the stalls and their horrific offerings.
It didn’t take long for  people to be wandering around with bags bulging with bloody goodies, and people were very chatty and friendly.
Plenty of people stopped to talk, and both Nick and myself ended up heading home with a lot less promotional material than we arrived with. I even had some take all three of my bookmark designs, which was nice!
On top of the social aspect, which would have been satisfying enough in itself for me (social anxiety gets to me at the best of times), we both made plenty of sales.
It was nice to see lots of people taking interest in my most recent book, In the Shadow of the Spire. I was slightly concerned that due to my usual work being focussed on monsters and much more tangible things, that supernatural tales might have been received badly as too much of a departure from that. People totally proved me wrong though, and I very nearly sold out of both my latest and my first books, which was a fantastic feeling! I believe Nick also nearly sold out of his first as well, so between us we didn’t do too badly.

Overall I’d say that the Saturday was definitely busier than the Sunday, and we chatted a lot more with people on that day. I met a few of the other traders, and had some visits from some friends and fans which really made my weekend. Nothing quite makes you smile like making a connection with someone who loves what you do and has similar interests. It’s a strange and wonderful feeling, especially when you have that little bit of pressure  from their excitement to read your next book pushing you to write.

We were both interviewed by Mikey at Mikey’s movie world, who miraculously made me feel very comfortable in front of the camera. You can see him quizzing us both here:

Mikey's Movie World at Horror Con Birmingham

We had a great day at Birmingham Horror Con it was great to meet and interview Brambledown designs Nick Stead Adam Nevill Mewse fiend-thews Central Legion Metamorphosis Arts The Zombie Survival School Angela Hallam Designs Craft ItemsThere is still another day of the event so make sure you check it out!Please check out our video and like Mikey's Movie WorldThank you to Adam Harper for helping!A finally a massive thank you to the event organisers for inviting us!

Posted by Mikey's Movie World on Saturday, 28 October 2017

(My section begins at roughly 15.30.)
It was interesting to talk about my work verbally for a change, rather than via type. It was also amusing to see how badly I talk with my hands, I had no idea I gesticulated so much!In the quiet moments, I indulged myself and had a wander round the other stalls to check their wares, and it’s a miracle I didn’t come home with armfuls of things for the house. I had to keep reminding myself that we’re moving and we”ll have less room!
We did a lot of people watching and the costumes of the cosplayers were so varied and beautifully done. We saw classic slasher film villains, video game characters, characters from television shows and even families of cosplayers, which I loved. There’s something especially adorable about a tiny Chucky being pushed around in a buggy by his horror-clown father!

I don’t want to say too much, as it;s not my place, but there are also very big things on the way for Nick. He has an enormous project in the works, which sadly I’m not in the position to be a part of at the moment, but I wish him all the luck in the world.