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Monday, October 31, 2022

What's New with Gail Z. Martin and her Convention Survival Tips

Convention Survival Tips
By Gail Z. Martin

I’ve done well over 100 conventions as an attendee and as an author guest, a track record full of fun, great memories, new friendships, and con crud. Those cons range from the vastness of New York ComicCon to much smaller local conventions and everything in between. Along the way, I’ve found some things that serve well to make cons more fun and less stressful.

Top priority—eat, drink, rest, shower. To have the best time and avoid problems, make sure you stay hydrated, eat three meals a day (light on the junk food), don’t pull multiple all-nighters, and maintain basic hygiene.

Hotels have very dry air, and you’ll dehydrate faster than you expect. By the time you feel it, you’re already too dry. Take a refillable water bottle and refill it often. Throw in a sports drink now and again for the electrolytes. Try not to subsist only on junk food—your digestive system will thank you. Pack protein bars and cracker sandwiches, and consider throwing in oranges, carrots, PB&J, and apples. You’ll feel much better! Make the effort to get at least a few hours of sleep a night, no matter how exciting the convention is. Decent sleep fends off con crud! A quick shower will make you feel like a new person, and your fellow con-goers will thank you!

Beyond that…read the schedule as early as it’s available so you can plan to see the things that are most important to you and don’t miss out. Prioritize panels, concerts, and events and realize that you probably won’t get to everything on your list. If the con offers a mobile app, use it to stay updated on schedule changes. If you’re with a group, make sure you have contact info so you can find each other if you get separated, which will inevitably happen. Make sure you know the con rules about photos and pay attention to the safety and anti-harassment policies so everyone has a good time.

Meeting your favorite author, performer, or actor is a highlight of conventions. Know the rules and follow them for photographs and autographs. Be polite and patient. Don’t try to tell long stories, but a short word of gratitude for what their work meant to you is perfectly okay.

Even though you’re with your fandom friends, pay attention to your surroundings, especially for conventions in big cities, or late at night. Much as we like to pretend we’re on a different planet, normal safety rules still apply.

Other than that…have fun! Get your geek on, enjoy yourself, meet new people, and explore new things. Conventions really can be out of this world!

What’s new from Gail Z. Martin? Plenty!

House of Cards, the eighth Spells, Salt and Steel book, is out, and Spells, Salt and Steel: Season Two (the collection of books 5 - 8) should be out later this year, along with the audiobook of the collection!

Spellbound, the fourth Joe Mack Adventure is coming in November.

C.H.A.R.O.N., sequel to Sons of Darkness and the second Night Vigil series should also be out in November.

Dark Haven an Dark Lady’s Chosen in my Chronicles of the Necromancer series are available again in ebook, and will be returning to print soon.

I’m currently working on Outlaw’s Vengeance, the fifth book in the Assassin’s of Landria series.

Wasteland Marshals (Collection of books 1-4) is also out in ebook and print, coming soon to audio.

About the Author:
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Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy, steampunk and more for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria.

Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both Steampunk/alternate history), the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series, the Joe Mack Shadow Council series, and the Wasteland Marshals near-future post-apocalyptic series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with the Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow series. Gail is also a con-runner for ConTinual, the online, ongoing multi-genre convention that never ends.

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