Monday, July 7, 2014

Attending Fantasy Con - AN AWESOME ADVENTURE!

I attended the 2014 Fantasy Convention in Salt Lake City on the 3-5th of July, and although I was a vendor and didn't get to walk around as much as I would have liked, the experience was still a wonderful one. I shared a booth with two fellow authors from Jolly Fish Press: Adrienne Monson with her vampire/immortal trilogy and Teri Harman with her contemporary witch trilogy. We helped promote each other's books as we sat together for 9 hours each day for three days in a row. Aside from being tired and my bum getting a little sore from sitting so long, I met so many wonderful and interesting people. 

I got to attend a one hour panel for actor Billy Boyd from The Lord of the Rings. Hilarious  and uber talented man! What a treat to see him in person.

My brothers, Kit and Nathan Rees, co-owners of their animation company Squishy Animation, part of the Fantasy Con staff, were busy making sure the convention ran smoothly, but stopped by to say hello once in a while. Fellow authors Lehua Parker (MG books: One Boy, No Water and One Shark, No Swim) and Johnny Worthen (books: Eleanor the Unseen and Beatrysel) also swung by to say hello before they were off to speak on a panel with Teri and Adrienne. Always good to see Lehua and Johnny!

This is a picture of my brothers, Nathan Rees (dark red shirt in back) and Kit Rees (dark red shirt in front), with The Hobbit dwarf actors Jed Brophy (Nori), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), John Callen (Oin) and Adam Brown (Ori) - AWESOME!!! But I'm so jealous!!! 
My father was so wonderful. He drove me to and from the convention all three days (my being 7 weeks pregnant, nauseous, and feeling unable to drive the long distance myself). Here's a picture of my tall dad standing next to an even taller sentinel.
My sweet mother, not only watched my kids one of the days while I was at the convention, but also helped me make my 1300s medieval-style kirtle and surcoat out of two bedsheets. Thanks mom!

I was delighted to see our old family friend, Chance Thomas, approach my table after he did a panel. He's an inspiration to me, being called "the composer's composer." So talented and knowledgeable in music and video/animation scores. Thanks for stopping by to chat, Chance!

Our dear friend, Rebekah Grow, visited briefly in her ring wraith costume from The Lord of the Rings. She was accompanied by two adorable Disney princesses (her little girls) plus her baby only a few months old.
One of the best surprises was the arrival of one of my cover models, Brady Knighton, decked out in the full leather armor he wore for the Shadows of Valor photo shoot. Can I just say AWESOME! His photo appears on the back of my book. He was at Fantasy Con helping another booth by the name of "Heroic", a wonderful group who has super heroes show up at charity events for children and others. Brady usually plays Captain America at these events (he has to shave his face for that, of course). I was pleased to find that the leather armor company, Rose and Thorn Armory, who made Brady's outfit, was at the convention as well. They displayed my book with Brady's picture and had my business cards at their booth. I, in turn, gave out their business cards to anyone interested in their armor. Win-Win!

Another surprise was a knight in chainmail who walked up to my booth, pointed at my book and said, "That's my wife on your cover." I thought he was joking, but then he told me her name (Paulina Baykova) and what she was studying at school. He bought her a book and I signed it, dedicating it to her. COOL! Paulina's husband is on the left with the headgear. Too fun!

Paulina's sister, Yelena Baykova, also visited our booth. Yelena was the film director who did my book trailer on Youtube for Shadows of Valor and who took the photos of Paulina and Brady for my cover. I'd never met her in person before the convention, so it was a real treat to finally see her. SO GREAT!

I was able to take pictures of the giant dragon, fountain, sentinels and a few other things the day before the convention kicked off. I hope Fantasy Con returns to Salt Lake next year and that I'll be able to be a vendor there again.
Front view of the smoke-breathing dragon designed by my brother, Nathan Rees
Side view of the smoke-breathing dragon designed by my brother, Nathan Rees
My brothers Kit (right), Nathan (center) and Nathan's wife, Heidi (left) in front of dragon
Banner designed by my brother, Kit Rees
Fountain designed by my brothers Kit and Nathan Rees which will be enlarged and placed in Las Vegas.
Here are more pictures of some of the great costumes I caught on camera as the different characters passed my booth (Jaba didn't pass my booth. I had to go to him - the lazy blob - haha :)


  1. I'm a wee bit jealous. Well, maybe a wee bit more than wee. Glad you had a great time!

    1. Thanks, Jeff, me too. It was my first convention of any kind, so I'm glad it was a good experience. I can't really afford to attend all the ones that sound really cool (or to rent the expensive booths), so I have to be picky. But it doesn't hurt to have connections for Fantasy Con through my brothers *smile*

  2. Loved reading all about it! What a great experience. Great for you to run into so many people and be able to promote your book. I'm sure it took a few days to recuperate, being with child. Seeing a lot of work by Kit and Nathan was cool, too. And yes, your tall dad actually looked short for once.

    1. Hehe, yeah, you're right about everything, Keri. And promoting my book has really motivated me to get my second book done by the end of the year, especially before having baby #4. The baby is due at the end of February, I think - I'll find out more tomorrow at my appointment. This will be our fourth and FINAL child. My body has HAD IT! I'll be 37 years old when its born. Sheesh! Chris and I have always wanted four, though. Nice round number. :-)