Author Feature: Hitting the Cons with Mark Cassell

Today I welcome author Mark Cassell to talk a little bit about hitting the cons. I've never been to a convention but hope to change that one of these days. If you missed my review of Mark's newest work yesterday, Hell Cat of the Holt, please click here to check it out.

Hitting the Cons 

Over the last few years here in the UK, the comic convention scene has exploded. More venues around the country host them with some fantastic guests giving us the opportunity to meet our heroes, whether from our childhood or present-day. Plus it’s great to see the incredible effort people go to with their costumes, taking the experience of visiting a comicon to a more personal level. Walking the con with pride, these cosplayers become their heroes.

Stalls vary from creative-minds to collectable shops. We have artists and authors like myself, prop builders and gamers, clothing and comics and everything between. All of this in a venue charged with an atmosphere impossible to imitate elsewhere.

About six months after my debut novel The Shadow Fabric (2014) hit the shelves, I joined the guys at Future Chronicles Photography to promote my work at EM-Con, a sci-fi and fantasy convention in the Midlands. To my surprise, that was when I met a fan who wanted a picture with me. A most-humbling moment to say the least.

Since then, I’ve attended many conventions around the UK, mostly your typical sci-fi & fantasy comicons, but I’ve also held a table at some horrorcons. At Walker Stalker 2017 in London, I was approached by a guy whose teacher loved my work and he requested a photo together to prove he met me.

From the outset, recognising I was new to this author-game, I wanted to bring something different to the table. I’d already noted other authors seemed to hide behind a fortress of books, arms folded, staring at browsers with doleful eyes, perhaps hopeful their book would sell itself…

In fact, at Derby Comic Con – a one-day event back in June – I saw precisely that. And I watched the bloke pack up at 2pm.

Since the first time I trod the convention circuit, I figured I’d set my table up with the Hourglass – a prop I built for promotion purposes. This has always attracted attention, and people often ask if it’s for sale. I reckon more time was spent making that than hitting the first draft of my debut novel.

So no, it will never be for sale. Sorry, guys.

 These days, I dabble in art and photography, and my table is now stacked with not only paperbacks but also USB drives pre-loaded with ebooks, as well as prints of my digital artwork.

As a horror writer at sci-fi & fantasy cons, my stall stands out among the others because I guess it’s like a black smudge amid the rainbow colours of superheroes and anime. With the release of my Shadow Fabric mythos novella Hell Cat of the Holt, it’s become apparent that anything featuring a cat quickly piques people's interest. At my last convention, I overheard several comments about the cat they saw on my table.

If you’re an author or artist, selling the finished product from an idea that once churned in your head, busting for release, then I recommend you get yourself a table at a convention. Find your angle, do something different that reflects your passion. Be friendly, chat to the cosplayers about their costumes – think about it: they spent hours creating them so they have a lot to say. At the end of the conversation if they only grab a business card, your job is done. If they sign up for your newsletter, then all the better. Beyond that, if you make a sale, well… Need I say more?

Finally, if you’re a cosplayer yourself or an attendee in search of that rare collectable, then be sure to find me. Come and say hi.

HELL CAT OF THE HOLT - a novella in the Shadow Fabric mythos 
Available from Amazon 

Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK where he often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His best-selling debut novel THE SHADOW FABRIC is closely followed by the popular short story collection SINISTER STITCHES and are both only a fraction of an expanding mythos of demons, devices, and deceit.

Mark’s 2017 release HELL CAT OF THE HOLT further explores the Shadow Fabric mythos with ghosts and black cat legends.

The dystopian sci-fi short story collection CHAOS HALO 1.0: ALPHA BETA GAMMA KILL is in association with Future Chronicles Photography where he works closely with their models and cosplayers.

For one of Mark’s FREE stories go to: 

Or visit the website: 


  1. Interesting post! I think I might get too stressed out by going to a big event like that as I tend to avoid crowded areas and people in general. But I do have fun reading about them!

    1. Yeah, I don't like having a hoard of people near me which is probably the reason I haven't been to one of these days. Some day I will be brave!

  2. Awesome post. I would love to go to an event like that even though on the whole, I don't like a lot of people (bloggers excluded).

    1. I don't like a lot people either but I may brave them for something like this - someday ;)

  3. I have never been to this kind of event. I think it would be something worth going to at some point. Fun post!

    1. Thanks, Carole. There was just some sort of big readers event near me but of course I heard about after the fact :(

  4. Is that a picture of te actual hourglass? That's cool! I want to buy it too! :)

  5. omg I guess being an author is not for the shiest of the bookworms like me :) great advice though! :)

  6. I've only been to the book cons but I would love to go to one of the comic cons and friends of ours go to Dragon Con every year - that sounds like a fun one!

    For What It's Worth

  7. Nice post. I love going to cons...

  8. That's awesome the scene is gaining force! I've been to a book convention but never a comic con. A few friends have gone and whoa it looks amazing!


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