When was the last time you tried something new, and loved it so much you then couldn’t get enough of it? For me this happened recently with ‘The Walking Dead’, resulting in my hubbie and I binge-watching the show. A friend of mine even made me a ‘Walking Dead’ birthday cake last month because she knew I loved it. What a fabulous friend!
Hubbie and I are now up-to-date and keen for more. The characters are so real for us, the story so alive – we can’t wait to revisit the world and explore it more.
But until then – what next?
It’s the same with books. When I discover a series I love I want to read every story in the series, then I wait on edge until the next one(s) come out. Of course with series like ‘A Game of Thrones’ it can sometimes take a while! So again, what next, in the meantime?
This is where recommendations help, which is why telling friends and family about the books you love is the single most lovely thing you can do for any author. Word-of-mouth is a very powerful thing. For example: “if you love such-and-such, you’ll love Zena Shapter’s stories!” He he…
Word-of-mouth also helps authors develop a fan base that not only inspires us to create more stories, but which takes our stories to a new level – a more real level. This weekend I went to Supanova in Sydney, a completely new experience for me because I’d never been before. I’ve come away with so many ideas about what stories to watch and read next!
Supanova is Australia’s biggest pop culture expo. Think: Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr Who, the Marvel universe, the DC universe, Madman Entertainment, Harry Potter, Transformers, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Terminator, Alien, Halo, Call of Duty, Pokémon – if those ring a bell, you’re probably be a bigger pop culture fan than you think. I love pop culture! So it was a real thrill to discover the expo was full of ‘my people’, people passionate about characters and stories, discovering new worlds and going on adventures.
Most importantly, the expo was full of generous souls. If you ever feel glum about the state of human nature – go along to your nearest pop culture expo and ask to have your photo taken with someone in cosplay, anyone in cosplay. The answer will not only be ‘yes’, but they’ll get into character too, because for them the character and story world are so real it’s easy.
Actors of famous characters also attend expos like Supanova, literally bringing characters to life, and this year we had Thor among the crowd (Chris Hemsworth), along with Glenn from ‘The Walking Dead’ (Steven Yeun), Lincoln and Murphy from ‘The 100’ (Ricky Whittle and Richard Harmon), Superman and Lois Lane from ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’ (Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher), Biff Tannen and Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown from ‘Back to the Future’ (Tom Wilson and Christopher Lloyd), and more. The place was packed with fans taking all kinds of characters beyond their creator’s original vision, imagining what might happen if a character had this or that to help them, adding personal elements and creating new futures. Stories came alive. Beasts came alive. All with a little cardboard, rubber and paint. Amazing!
There were plenty of indie publishers too, visual artists and craftsmen in ‘The Alley’, though it would have been better had their stalls been dispersed throughout the main venue hall, giving attendees more instant variety.
Oh, and kids could attend Supanova for free (with a paying adult), making the day more affordable too. Just look at all the fun on offer for everyone!
One day, I’d love to see one of my own characters walking around Supanova. But until then, next, in the meantime… I’m looking forward to Conflux this October long weekend, a purely speculative fiction convention held annually in Canberra. IFWG will be launching my debut novel there, ‘Towards White‘, a speculative fiction mystery about where the electrical energy in our brains goes when we die. I can’t wait! Finally my characters and story will start becoming real…!
Let me know if you’re going…