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KoyoCon 2019 – The One Where I Went Ginger and Sold a Lot of Books

Author booth KoyoCon

KoyoCon LogoSince I’m finally semi-recovered after getting home from KoyoCon yesterday, I suppose it’s time for a Post-Convention Post!

Honestly, this one will not be as interesting as many of  my other con tales. No one tackled me, no one made me pose on top of a booth table, no one licked me (yes, that actually did happen once), no one tried to throw me in a trash can, and for once I didn’t end up on the news. I had a great time, and I sold a ton of books, but as someone who doesn’t drink or party that often I get all my crazy stories from these conventions. I’m kind of bummed that this weekend I had a near flawless record of professionalism and dignity.

I mean, I was dressed like a sassy demon and carrying around a goofy-looking stuffed Magikarp, but that’s no less than what you guys expect from me by now.

About KoyoCon: KoyoCon is a small pop-culture convention in Denmark that is held every year in November. Every year you can find me there selling books in the Artist Alley, running around in weird cosplays, working as part of the event team, or assisting one of the vendors in the dealer hall. A couple years I have done three of the aforementioned all at once, and the amount of caffeine that takes to pull off is not healthy.

This year my author table was moved up next to the cosplay supply shop NerdVault’s booth in the dealer hall (which is owned by friends of mine), so I could sell both books and wigs without having to be in two places at once. And the garish, impractical WoW armors had been put aside in favor of cosplaying Crowley from Good Omens, because he dresses nearly exactly like I would have either way and I got the added benefit of hiding my tired eyes behind sunglasses.

Crowley Good Omens KoyoCon

Really, this might have been the laziest cosplay I have ever done. I had all the clothes already in my closet, except for the shirt which I bought from the nearest H&M store. My mom loves knitting, so she made me the weird necktie thingy, the sunglasses was bought from Wish, and the wig was brought to me at the convention because I was helping out at a booth that sells wigs. I didn’t even cut and style said wig as I had planned, because I looked damn good in it and I didn’t have the heart to mangle it.

I literally didn’t make a single thing for this costume, but it was the most comfortable cosplay I have ever worn, and I have come to the conclusion that creativity and hard work is overrated.

(That’s the right attitude for a writer to have, right?)

I did initially despair at the lack of Good Omens cosplayers. I had thought the place would be crawling with Crowleys (see what I did there?), considering it’s such an easy costume to do, and both the show and the character are absolutely amazing. When I finally found an Aziraphale cosplayer I was so thrilled that I immediately abducted this stranger from her friends to go have pictures taken at the convention’s photobooth.

The next day I ran into one of my good cosplayer friends whom I had been looking for ever since the convention started and found her in the company of another Crowley cosplayer. I was so distracted by this that it took a moment before I took another look at my friend and realized that she was cosplaying Aziraphale.

Cue me dragging more people off to have pictures taken.1

Despite me getting distracted by every blonde angel or red-haired demon passing by, I did actually spend most of my time working. After all, this was my first convention selling my newest book Ghostly Scream, not to mention the beautiful new editions of my three previous books, so I was determined to be a good salesperson.

(Also, paperbacks are heavy as hell, and I didn’t want to drag all of them home again.)

Author booth KoyoCon

I’m not sure if it was the new editions or that I’m surprisingly sexy as ginger, but I ended up selling about 3 times as many books as I usually do at a highly successful convention.

It certainly wasn’t my marketing efforts. I was offering mobile payment as an option, and everyone showed me their phone screens for me to confirm that the name that came up when they typed the number on the sign was mine. This would have been completely reasonable… if it hadn’t been because my name was printed in large letters on literally 90% of everything at the table.

But I really don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to paying attention. I spent the first two days of the convention telling everyone who asked that my books were unfortunately only available from international stores like Amazon unless they bought them from me or asked a bookstore to order them specifically. Then late Saturday afternoon a guy mentioned that he might order them from Saxo…

Saxo is the largest online book retailer in Denmark. I have bought between 70 and 100 books from them – and that’s just in the last year.

I did not know they carried my books.

(I checked, and it’s literally the first result that comes up if you google my name in Denmark…)

It’s not quite as great as seeing your books in a local brick-and-mortar bookstore, but considering that Saxo is my all-time favorite bookstore and that this guy had actually gone looking for my books there specificially, I’m still pretty excited about it.

It’s nice to be acknowledged by the place that has leeched all my money for years.

Others of my customers had other concerns than the availability of my books. I hadn’t thought of this myself but on no less than three different occasions over the weekend it was pointed out to me that the new covers for my books contain the colors for each of the Hogwarts houses except for Hufflepuff, and that I needed to rectify that as soon as possible. They were feeling very strongly about this. Not even me explaining that I had already had artwork made for the next 3 book covers for the series, and that none of those were yellow, was accepted as an excuse… so now I suppose I will have to contact my cover artist again.

Don’t mess with the Hufflepuffs, guys.

I also promised a guy that my next book would involve geese. No specifics. He just wanted geese.

Except from that the convention was rather uneventful. Sure, I lived in constant paranoia and scanned my surroundings for an ambush whenever my friend Steffan came by and wanted to give me a hug, because of last year’s Cat Ear Incident, but it turns out the usual mastermind behind my suffering, my other friend Maria, had been caught up at work and couldn’t make it to the convention.

(She intentionally neglected to tell me this until after the convention, because she knew it would mess with my head.)

Sunday was the day of the Cosplay Craftmanship competition, in which several of my friends were competing. I didn’t have time to go see it, but I was there when they returned to the dealer hall to collapse from exhaustion into the nearest chair.

My friend Mette (going under the name Zilaji Cosplay, and also the owner of NerdVault) was cosplaying as Ciri from The Witcher 3, so obviously I was pretty excited about this.

But not so excited that I will use one of the good photos I took of her cosplay instead of this:

Zilaji Cosplay Ciri Cosplay

(She’s going to kill me if she sees this post. But considering I have admin access to her webshop and my first thought was to put it on the slider on the front page, I think she should consider herself lucky…)

Another friend of mine, Sarah (better known as Caiva Cosplay), cosplayed as Lich Jaina from Hearthstone, and considering she’s one of the most skilled people I know (and I’m not just saying that to justify losing to her years ago at the very first cosplay competition I attended), it’s no surprise that she won the qualification to ECC (European Cosplay Championship). But that’s not why she gets to be in this post.

She gets to be in this post because when I saw her after the competition I called out to her and asked to get a picture, and she swirled around and proudly revealed her footwear:

Lich Jaina Crocs Caiva Cosplay

Since I didn’t take that many pictures this time around – and since I hadn’t gotten my hands on some rats yet – I’ll leave you with one of my new mascot.

I only got him because I accidentally accepted a giftcard for another booth, thinking it was a general dealer hall voucher, and I had to use it for something to pretend I hadn’t messed up. But it turns out he looks great in my Crowley sunglasses.

I’m open for ideas for a name for him.

Cat plushie sunglasses


1 I’m hoping to add the photobooth pictures soon, but the photographer (another cosplayer acquaintance of mine) said it might take some time unless I agreed to burn down the supermarket where he works during the week.2

2 I told him I could release some rats and simply have the place shut down for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Going to KoyoCon 2019

Bøger KoyoCon ugle

If you’re going to the Danish pop culture convention KoyoCon this year, you can say hello to me.

Because I’ll be there.KoyoCon Logo

Like I have been every year…

Since the convention was founded…

Okay, so this announcement isn’t really a surprise, is it…? But it’s still good news!

This year, I won’t be sitting in the Artist Alley-area, but instead be having my author table in the dealer hall right next to the NerdVault booth, which I’m helping out at. So not only will you be able to buy books, you can also get a wig and some Worbla while you’re at it. Everybody wins.

Of course, the reason why I’m especially excited this year is because it’s the first convention I’m going to after not only releasing my new book, but also rebranding the old ones! I have a feeling this year’s sales pitch will be along the lines of “Sure, the stories are fine… but look how pretty the covers are!”

I’m telling you, if you end up at my table, just smile and nod like you would when dealing with any other crazy person. It’s the safest solution for everyone.

Oh, and KoyoCon 2019 will be held November 8.-10. if you want to join us!

Keep an eye on my Facebook page as well. I will probably be hosting a KoyoCon-related giveaway soon. Free stuff, y’all.

Bøger KoyoCon ugle

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Weird Ways I Injure Myself

Owl Bite

I’m quite good at getting hurt.

Don’t worry, I don’t do it on purpose!

I do all the standard things – stubbing my toes against doors, falling down stairs, slamming drawers shut on my fingers – but mostly people get an answer they didn’t expect when they ask, “What did you do to your hand?” or “Where did you get that bruise?”

Let’s start with the most common cause of injury:

The Dangers of Super Glue

I use a LOT of super glue, so you would think I would have learned something by now, but alas… I still accidentally glue myself to everything. When crafting cosplays or doing other weird hobby projects, I always manage to attach myself to something: Tables, laptops, myself, and a few times even unfortunate con-goers while doing emergency fixes at my author table.

But getting super glue all over your hands is something you get used to. It only stings slightly and burns through a couple layers of skin. And who really needs fingerprints?

Never mind that I have trouble navigating touchscreens for a few days.

Yep, getting super glue on your hands is not a big deal.

Absentmindedly biting your nail before the glue on it is completely dry and getting super glue on your tongue…?

Nooooope. Not a good idea.

As I said, super glue burns. A burned patch on the surface of your tongue feels both unpleasant and weird.

But the worst thing is really that this has happened to me on at least four different occasions and I’m not getting any smarter…

Super Glue Loctite

Burn, Baby, Burn

I once sat in a staff meeting, paying absolutely no attention to what was being said, and looked down at my arm before wondering, “Where did that burn mark come from?”

I eventually came to the conclusion that it must have happened when I knocked my heat gun over 3 days earlier and I simply hadn’t noticed.

That’s how often I accidentally burn myself. It just doesn’t register half the time.

As a kid and teenager, I mostly did it by being careless while maintaining the wood stove at my parents’ place or burning myself when taking stuff out of the oven. Lately, however, most of my burns are caused by cosplay. I work a lot with a material called Worbla, which is a kind of thermoplastic, meaning I have to heat it up to use it. The burns I get from handling the material itself are insignificant (like with the super glue, it mostly just burns the fingertips and they’re kind of numb by this point), but as shown with the example above, the heat gun can be rather dangerous. The top of it remains searing hot for a long time, so it’s very important to put it somewhere you won’t accidentally bump into it.

I also recently experimented with a variation of Worbla called Crystal Art. I literally wrote instructions for a webshop selling this stuff, instructions that focus on how Crystal Art’s melting point is a lot higher than ordinary Worbla, and as such SHOULDN’T BE HANDLED WITHOUT GLOVES.

…Guess who heated up a big lump and then just stuck her whole thumb into it?

And that’s how I ended up running around with a bag of frozen kebab wrapped around my thumb for a few hours that day.

Heat Gun Worbla Crystal Art

Other Geeky Casualties

As you can tell, I really wouldn’t get injured all that much if I wasn’t a geek. Cosplay is a dangerous hobby, and not just in the crafting phase. I have lost count of how many times I have stabbed myself (and others, but who cares about them?) with a spiky pauldron or helmet. Once, I accidentally hit myself in the head with a prop Gorehowl I nicked from a friend (and I hope he doesn’t read this blog, because he would never let me live it down).

Lately, I also returned to doing a bit of LARP’ing when I went to Witcher School in Poland. They taught us fencing and archery, let us throw around sharp axes, taught us how to make fire with a knife and steel, and had us fight huge monsters, so honestly it’s amazing that I didn’t lose a leg or set my hair on fire. I even only got ONE bruise and that was not my fault, as I got tackled by a striga.

Which just makes it more embarrassing how much I have injured myself with the wolf medallion they gave me… Turns out that if you’re lying on your couch, playing around with a spiky medallion made of pure metal and then drops it on your collarbone… It hurts. I also discovered I was getting bruised along my ribs from where the medallion was bouncing against my body through thin t-shirts while wearing it all day.

Cosplay Pauldron Witcher Medallion

And Then, Of Course… the Owl

It wouldn’t be a true Louringnese blog post if it bore no mention of Artemis, the Feathery Terror.

This tiny owl usually only bites me (when out in the public, he’s the perfect gentleman), but he can do an impressive amount of damage if you let him get his beak into the skin between your thumb and index finger.

There have also been a few cases of poor navigation, and there’s really no way to prepare yourself for an owl suddenly colliding with your face.

Owl Bite


I don’t know why I just did a whole post about how accident-prone I am. Maybe I should do a post about something I’m good at?

I’ll let you know when I figure out what that is.

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Okay, I Need to Talk About This Magikarp…

Magikarp Plushy Pokemone

Magikarp plushie Pokemon

If you saw my New Year’s post, you will already have met Flip-Flop.

You did not, however, get an explanation for Flip-Flop.


I felt like this belated Christmas present from my friend and fellow cosplayer, Line, deserved a post of its own.

A bit of backstory:
Line and I, just like every other geek with a phone, enjoy playing Pokémon GO when the weather’s nice and the ass-groves in the couch get too deep.

If you’re familiar with Pokémon (and if you’re a child of the nineties, you will be), you know that Magikarp is this totally useless orange fish that flops pathetically on the ground. And obviously, with it being utterly useless, it evolves into an insanely badass sea dragon called Gyarados.

If you have played Pokémon GO, you also know that you can assign a specific Pokémon as your “Buddy” which basically means you’re walking it like a dog.
For a long, long time, my buddy was the Magikarp I named Flip-Flop.

…Meaning I was walking a fish on a leash.

Of course this was all metaphorically, as Pokémon GO is just an app on the phone, but both I and Line enjoyed the mental image.

Fast forward to New Year’s Eve 2018 where Line arrives at my place with my Christmas gift tucked under her arm.

You gotta admire her dedication to this joke, because she had actually sewn this huge, goofy-looking Magikarp from scratch, and best of all: She had put a collar on it with a leash and a dog tag that said “Flip-Flop”.

This of course means that I’ll have to abandon all my other cosplay projects, because there’s no way I’m not going to dress up as a Pokémon trainer and walk around with a fish on a leash during a convention.


Did I really just make you read a whole post about a fish plushie?

Why, yes. Yes, I did.

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Cosplay Post – Morrigan (Dragon Age)

Finally finished writing another of these posts, this time for my Morrigan cosplay!

Looking forward to when I start doing this for NEW costumes, so I won’t have to spent hours searching forgotten folders on my backup hard drive to (hopefully) locate progress pictures…

Onwards!

Morrigan (Dragon Age)


The Facts

Character: Morrigan

Franchise: Dragon Age

Finished: May 2015

 


Reference

As is often the case with my cosplays, I used a couple different references and picked the parts I liked from each. With Morrigan, this was mostly because she wears NOTHING under her very, very open cowl in Dragon Age: Origins, but she was a bit more fortunate in her concept artwork.

I can deal with revealing costumes, but I draw the line at flashing an entire convention because fabric slips in reality, as opposed to video games 😂

Morrigan Dragon Age Morrigan Dragon AgeMorrigan Concept Art Dragon Age

 


Story behind the costume

Not much to say here. I got Dragon Age: Origins for free one day, played it for about 15 minutes, got obsessed, met someone even more obsessed who was already making a Dragon Age cosplay, and suddenly I had decided to cosplay the bitchy witch wearing way too little clothing.

Morrigan is the mistress of Sass, and there was no way I could get away with NOT cosplaying her.

 


How It’s Made

With Morrigan I didn’t experiment with as many different materials as my other costumes… which might also be why it’s one of the only cosplays I have that I can move almost freely in.

The cowl is made entirely from normal fabric. Nothing fancy going on there.

For the skirt, I used a plain pencil skirt as a base and sewed faux leather around it. The patch at the top is made from EVA foam, covered in the same pleather and with rabbit fur attached around the egde. It’s attached to the skirt with push buttons, meaning it’s detachable, because it covers the zipper for the skirt.

All the “belts” hanging from the skirt were made separately and from scratch, all in the same pleather as the skirt and with metal rings hammered in (I love getting to use a hammer when I sew stuff).


Morrigan skirt CosplayMorrigan skirt cosplay


The bra… Now THAT is something I’m weirdly proud of. I didn’t even sew the thing from scratch, instead Frankensteining it from 3 different bras that I slaughtered. I bought two simple bikini tops from eBay, one white and one black, and took the straps from the black and the cups from the white. The fabric used for the white one was waaaay too white, but it turns out that soaking a bra in black tea for a few hours is a great way to dye it.

With the straps and the cups put together I technically had a fully-functional bra. But seeing as I’m a little paranoid, I thought an extra bit of security was in order. Which is how I came to slaughter bra nr. 3. This time, it was a self-adhesive silicone bra that I sewed into the cups of my bikini top, so that I could easily glue the whole thing to my chest and not worry about anything slipping.

Bra Cosplay Adhersive

(Turned out to be a very good idea, since a friend accidentally untied the bikini top in the middle of a convention hall one time…)

The staff was a lot of fun. It was also an experiment that I had expected to fail spectacularly, but which somehow turned out great.

The base is a completely normal wooden broom handle. At the top I nailed some foam strips on some wire onto it and covered it in PU foam. From that, I carved a couple of “branches”.

I covered the whole thing in acrylic sealant, making the surface bumpy like a rough tree branch. Still can’t believe that I randomly grabbed some stuff you use to put in windows and somehow it all worked out…

Then, of course, I painted and varnished it. I tied a piece of leather with some feathers around it to give it the finishing touch.


Morrigan staff cosplayStaff cosplay acrylic sealantPU foam staff cosplay


Morrigan necklace cosplayOn to the necklace. This was made by making a base of black pleather and attaching the separate pieces onto it. It’s closed in the back with push buttons and the gold pieces are made from spray-painted EVA foam (the pendants also have Worbla covering the foam). The pearls are also attached directly to the necklace, instead of being a separate piece.

The sleeve is made from stretchy pleather and kept on with elastic at the top. The patch is made from pleather-covered EVA foam with sewn on feathers, attached to the sleeve with push buttons.

 


Funny stories

I had a lot of fun with this costume, both making it and wearing it.

I worked on the cosplay together with a friend (she was cosplaying Anders, also from Dragon Age) and we usually did it at her apartment. That led to a number of funny situations, for example one day when we talked about the latest game in the Dragon Age series, Inquisition, which I hadn’t played yet, so I was a bit confused when my friend’s boyfriend stuck his head into the room, yelled “Fuck Solas!” and left.

After playing the game, I get the sentiment, but it felt rather random at the time.

Another classic moment was when we had decided on how to dye my bikini top. My friend’s boyfriend came home some time after and went to his own workshop and my friend called out to him “Just so you know, there’s a bra soaking in tea in the kitchen.” There was silence for a while, before we heard “Wait… what?!”

Good times.

I have also had a lot of good times wearing the cosplay. Not only have I won two contests with it, I also got a group of amazing friends that I would never have met if we hadn’t all been cosplaying from the same game franchise at the same convention.

Dragon Age Cosplay group
Photographer: Ulrich von Blücher

That’s the magic of cosplay. You suddenly find yourself in a group of complete strangers, just because of your shared love for a game, and spend hours hanging out and taking pictures. That’s usually the end of it, but not for this group. Half of these people are the ones that now make up my Dragon Age tabletop group and I can’t even describe how much fun we have.

Side note: You can also have a great lot of fun when you suddenly have three people cosplaying the same character.

Morrigan cosplays
Photographer: Ulrich von Blücher
Morrigan cosplay
Photographer: Ulrich von Blücher