Spolier Free Summary: Bearly Awakeby D.R. Perryis about Bobby Tremain and Lynn Frampton. Bobby needs to pass a test in order to stay in school. Lynn, Bobby’s instructor-selected study partner, needs Bobby to do well in order to elevate her GPA. Oh, and Bobby is a bear shifter who’s in danger of falling under a weather-related hibernation period. They’ll have to stay awake while unraveling the mystery of Bobby’s condition. I met D.R. at AwesomeCon last year. She was such a cool person to meet, I decided to try one of her books.
Character: Bobby and Lynn are typical characters in the high-school romance story area. They’re sympathetic. What I like best is the lack of the “misunderstood bad-boy” motif I hear too much about and see to much of in commercials for movies I’ll never watch. Bobby’s honestly a good, well-mannered kid. Now, this takes out some of the conflict people might like. But is it too much to ask for a likable MC these days? Some may say so. No, this book is not filled with angst, frustration, and pages of deep, brooding conflict. Honestly I think I could see this play on Nickelodeon or whatever the CW (or whatever they’re calling that channel these days). Note: This book is written in first person narrative, but it switches between the MCs.
Exposition: No more than the usually necessary amount of Exposition when working with first person narrative. Honestly, I’d say this was better than most. I only finished this book a few days ago, and I already can’t remember any expositional monologues from either MC.
World building: This world has a lot to it to be honest. I was a little disappointed I didn’t have more scope, but that probably would have meant more exposition. I certainly understood what I needed to understand, but I would have liked a bit more world building.
Dialogue: Pretty fun in an I liked “Saved By The Bell” sort of way. The dialogue felt a lot like that to me. This book had a lot of fun “nerd” easter eggs (which were a bit undercut by the characters stating the movie or book of origin). It wasn’t very snappy or fresh, but it was realistic and flowed well.
Description: If I didn’t really notice it, I think most would say there wasn’t enough. I wasn’t lost, and the book has description, but the movie director in my head didn’t take off and start an I-MAX production either.
Overall: Honestly, if I had to use one word to describe it, I’d have to say, “solid.” It wasn’t amazing for any particular reason, but it wasn’t bad at all. I will say it was fun. I was under the impression this was a spoof on paranormal romance, but I didn’t think that at all. However, I don’t think this is the sort of paranormal romance most readers are thinking of when they use those words. I say I was “under the impression” because I thought that’s what it was when I listened to D.R. talk about it, but it’s possible I didn’t quite infer what she implied. That said, it’s not a typical PR. This felt like a sweet love story with a lot of fun. It’s cute and enjoyable.
I’ve had a few days to rest (at least a little), and I think I’ll be back to work in another day or two. It won’t be long at all before my next event, which is Shore Leave. I’ve just learned bout some more opportunities coming my way, so stay tuned for that. With that said, I wanted to give you all a bit more insight as to how AwesomeCon went.
First off, some special thanks. The first must be my helpers. They get the chance to attend the event and have some fun, but they have to help me sell books and give me periodic breaks. Events like this take a ton out of me as it is, and I wouldn’t be able to do them without help, so I’d like to offer special thanks to Peggy Trujillo and Keith Simmons. They made it so I could step away when I wanted. They made it so I could attend my panel (more on that later), and they made it possible for me to check a few items off the bucket list (yes, more on that later, too). A note about Keith, turns out, his cosplay costume was well liked by the AwesomeCon folks. He made their list of favorite costumes.
Next I’d like to thank Andrew Hiller. He actually joined me at my table this year. Teaming up with him gave me another person to talk to. I’ve read A Halo of Mushrooms, and A Climbing Stock is on my TBR. It was a pleasure working with him, and I want to make sure I say thanks for sending some traffic my way and keeping me company.
Last, but in no way the least, is the new group of friends I made during my panel. I didn’t have anyone to be on my panel with me, and I truly wanted those in attendance to get the most out of the experience. So I approached a group near my table and asked if they’d care to join me. They call themselves the Awethors, which is a clever name if I do say so myself. They were a super group of people to meet. Jeffery Cook, D.R. Perry, and E.A. Copen were fantastic additions to the panel, and they made it a huge success. I had several people come up to me and tell me they loved it. I owe that success to them. Thank you all for joining me.
For those interested in the marketing side of things, this is the spot you should be interested in. Jeffery wrote a book called, “Working the Table, An Indie Author’s Guide to Conventions.” I can’t wait to dig into that. I brought around 300 business cards, 75 bookmarks and a ton of QR-Code cards I’d made a while back. I should have brought more of the bookmarks and business cards. I ran out of those on the first day, and I think they were effective. All told, I sold about 10 more books than I’ve ever sold. Caught finally gained some traction, and I’m hoping readers start posting reviews soon. I’m also nearly sold out of soft-cover editions of The Journals of Bob Drifter. I’m proud of the fact that I sold enough product to make up the table, gas, new books (sorry, TBR pile), and parking. By any standard, that’s a success. I’ll admit I didn’t reach my super goal, but I’d still call that weekend a success.
I think my favorite part of the event was having people approach me and tell me how much they liked my work. I posted about that earlier, but I can’t say enough what it means to me for people to show their appreciation. A lot of those conversations gave me some much needed motivation to stay true to my dream and keep at it. It’s amazing to think anyone would take time out of their day to stop by and just say they liked my books. Thank you!
A note on the value of reviews: I had a large number of people who spoke to me about my book. They took a night to think on it and then came back. A lot of them said my reviews on Goodreads made a convincing argument to try my books. I’d like to thank those who reviewed my books. I’d be ever so grateful to anyone else who’s read my work to do the same. They really do matter. If you hated them or loved them, there is no such thing as a bad review in my eyes.
The convention wasn’t 100 percent business. Last year, I made it a point to meet Summer Glau. This year I had a chance to meet someone who was fundamental to my dream to become a writer. If I’m being honest, Stan Lee was far too busy to do much more than sign a comic, but this Uncanny X-Men #101 is right up there with my signed copy of The White Dragon. I honestly only need one more autograph to have my own personal Rushmore of authors (ok, look, Tolstoy would be on that list, but I don’t think that’s in the cards). I didn’t pay for the photo or any of the events, but having that signature on my favorite comic ever is really special, and I’m glad I got the chance to do that.
It feels weird. This post is under 1,000 words, but I feel like I only scratched the surface. I wish I could talk about every conversation and every cool thing I saw, but there’s just too many. All I can do is say it really was a great time, and I can’t wait for next year!