On the 7th October, I had the incredible pleasure of taking part in the Dundee Horror Con, courtesy of the incredible Northern Frights. This was my first experience being a vendor at any kind of convention or event, so the whole weekend was a wonderful whirl of newness, nerves, and excitement.
We’d arranged to arrive the day before to set up. I came armed with my ghosty table-cloth and a jar of sweets to hand out to passers-by. Afterwards, we went to grab some food and a drink at Mollie Malone’s pub while I tried to settle my nerves. I had an overwhelming feeling that I was out of my depth, and that I wouldn’t sell a single book the next day. But, I reasoned, I was there for the experience. Everything else was a bonus.
The Night Before
Dundee is a beautiful city with lots of ghoulish and unusual things to see. Which is my favourite type of destination. I’m a bit of a “dark tourist” and always hit up Atlas Obscura to make sure I cover all the strange and unusual sites when I visit a new location. I was surprised to stumble across this incredible dragon statue in the town centre! A lovely bonus on top of the chilling Howff Cemetery, the Grissel Jaffray Memorial, and (not quite so dark but fun nontheless) the Lemmings statue.
After a lovely afternoon of exploration, it was time to get a good night’s sleep ahead of the Horror Con itself. I was relatively calm in the morning, finding that the build-up to the event was scarier than actually being there (as things so often are!). There was only one slight hitch in the morning. Upon arrival at the venue my contact lens decided to fold up on itself, then when I tried to fix it it ripped in two and had to be abandoned. If I was squinting strangely at anybody who met me that day, this is the reason! Needless to say, I will be taking spares at all future cons and events!
Dundee Horror Con
The event itself was better than I even imagined. Literally every single person who stopped to chat was lovely. When I was having my crisis of confidence the previous day, I set a soft target to sell 5 signed books. We smashed that in the first hour! I also had a lovely moment when I got to sign a book early on for a Janice, which is my mother’s name. Incidentally, my lovely mum had messaged me that morning with a photo of her wearing a The Suffering T-Shirt in support of me being at the event, which gives you a good idea of how kind and thoughtful she is! I’d like to thank anyone who stopped and took a sweet or a business card, chatted about the ghosts, and of course bought the book! I was blown away.
My gratitude also goes out to Laura, who runs Northern Frights pretty much single-handed! She is a huge reason this event was the perfect introduction to me getting into being a vendor as an author and learning the ropes for future events. I can’t wait to attend the next one – I’ll be at Glasgow next year, so please swing by if you can! All of the staff we chatted to were helpful and friendly, and I appreciate you all. It was torrential rain that day, which caused a lot of problems for many. I’m sure you all had your hands full, but you handled it like troopers, and dealt with any problems with class and professionalism.
I also got to meet two other authors who were at the event—John McNee and Bill Davidson. It was fantastic chatting to them both, and I picked up John’s Doom Cabaret and Bill’s The King of Crows. If you haven’t read these authors yet please do check them out. You won’t be disappointed!
After such an incredible event I’ve had a quiet couple of weeks to come back down to earth. I’m currently chipping away at The Suffering sequel and am excited at the thought of attending future Northern Frights events with two books on my table, instead of just the one. But regardless of how many books are out, I cannot wait for the next time. I’ll see you there!
If you spent all your money on the other outstanding stalls at the Dundee Horror Con and would like to check out The Suffering, grab your copy today!