Connooga 2018 Wrapup

We spent the weekend knocking around Chattanooga for Connooga 2018, which was a lot of fun. My wife Meghann’s desire to cosplay is growing with every one of these cons we attend. The only thing that’s holding her back now is free time. I keep telling her she’d make a great Rey.

Thanks so much to Shon who put the author & literary tracks together. He did a great job and panels were well attended with lots of interested and highly literate attendees. It’s a great pleasure to be among so many other writers and readers.

I’d planned to bring some cookies to entice potential readers, but we didn’t have time to make them, so instead, I set up my table and put out a chocolate heart with a sign inviting people to please eat the chocolates.

Scientific Book Research

Most of the authors I know who do tables like this have some sort of giveaway thing to offer people who stop by. Some do bookmarks, but I see a lot of little bowls of candy. Mind you, when I spot the candy bowls I gobble it down with loud smacking sounds and pronouncements of “HOMPF OMP SO GOOD.”

More than once one of my colleagues has had to ask me to please leave and stop eating up all their freebies. A couple of those times it was because I ate one of their books by mistake. Oops.

Anyway, I decided to try the free candy myself. Lots of people grabbed a piece, which is good because that’s another piece of candy I didn’t eat myself. Also, lots of people were kind enough to buy books, take a card, or sign up for the mailing list which are all highly appreciated acts for which those humans will later be immortalized in statue.

But the Venn diagram looks like this.

Interesting, right?


From having spent the weekend walking around Chattanooga it’s plain to me that someone thinks the city will soon be very full of people. We stayed in a little section that resembled any urban area: buildings overhead with shops on the ground level. The only difference was that the shops had no one in them.

The coffee place had 4-5 employees but we were the only customers. The streets, also, were mostly empty. If you want to cross Broad street, the big double avenue that terminates at the Aquarium, you can press a button to ask the light to change, or you can just walk across because there is no traffic.

They put huge cool murals on the outsides of their parking decks. They must think someone will come look at them.

On Friday I had a panel with Gil Hough on Self Publishing, which was good fun. Check out Gil’s work here. Unfortunately for Gil he had to endure more panels with me over the course of the weekend as well. As far as I know he has survived.

On Friday night we walked up Broad Street and over the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Tennessee river, then grabbed some dinner at Beast & Barrel. They had andouille sausage on the menu, so, in accordance with the laws of the universe, I ate it. It was delicious.

The pedestrian bridge is pretty cool. It was full of groups of people, families, kids running about. I’d say it was my favorite thing about the city, second only to hanging around my fellow scifi/fantasy fans.

On Saturday morning we had a run around the city, then I tweeted this photo with the assertion that the sculpture in question is called “Buy Jim’s Books.” I lied. It’s actually called “Continuum.”

We grabbed some breakfast at the Bitter Alibi, which was delicious, then headed back down to the Convention Center. I had a panel with Dan Jolley who was great fun. Check out his work here: Enter the Jollyverse (his word, not mine, but I think it’s hilarious).

I also met fellow authors David Joel Stevenson, Kenyon T. Henry, and ran into Michael D’Ambrosio whom I met a couple of years ago at Midsouth Con.

It was a great weekend and we can’t wait to come back next year. Thanks again to Shon who put the author track together and did a great job with it. If you’re in the area, put it on your calendar for 2019.

For those of you who bought books or signed up on the mailing list, thank you so much. Your support means a lot to authors. More than I can possibly tell you. Which is why I will now show you using the medium of interpretive dance- Hey, get back here.

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