When you try to think of something to use as promo for a convention, one of the qualities has to be that the item is attractive. Another excellent quality is that the item is something that might be useful.
And of course, you want the item to be something that reminds the reader of your books...
So here we have the useful, attractive Pocket Rocks. They can be a paper weight, a good luck piece, a decoration on a table, or whatever else the reader might think up.
Why Pocket Rocks, you say? Well, in Daffodil, King Arthur's pet rock Sidney has a pivotal role in the story. Initially, we contemplated producing a bunch of pet rocks. But my daughter pointed out that female readers might not find them attractive at all. So then we brain stormed until we came up with the Pocket Rock. If you look closely, you see that most of them have flowers on them... Flowers of Camelot!
I can hear you now... "How do I get my very own Pocket Rock?", you cry. Well, that's simple. Show up at my table at RomantiCon in Akron, OH. If you arrive early enough to score your very own Pocket Rock, that will put you in the running for some swell prizes. Some of the Pocket Rocks are very special, you see. Pick the right one and you'll be a winner.
And since y'all are so special... here's an excerpt about Sidney, the pet rock!
From Daffodil by Anny Cook
Two nights later, Raulf wearily leaned back in a steaming tub of water upstairs at the Two Trick Tavern while Daffodil washed his hair. Timmy was out trying to rustle up something for them to eat. Cooking was not one of the specialties of the ladies employed at Two Trick Tavern. When Raulf and his companions first arrived, the management wasn’t inclined to even rent them a room.
Fortunately, Timmy volunteered to change their minds and he did it with such lusty gusto that the ladies were presently napping and resting up for the second round. While they dozed, Raulf appropriated their luxuriously appointed bathroom for Daffodil’s and his use. Starving after his workout, Timmy slipped on his zipsuit and declared that he would bathe later as food was far more important. After all, he needed to keep up his strength for round two.
Prowling down the dark rubble-strewn alley that separated the Two Trick Tavern—or as it was locally known, the Triple T—from the rest of the scruffy little village, Timmy observed a man darting stealthily from one of the shadowy huts near the edge of the village. Curious, Timmy followed him to a dimly lit squat building near the center of the village. Further cogitation led Timmy to conclude that the building must be an alehouse where the locals gathered for a pint or two. And where there was ale, there was usually food.
He pulled open the heavy door and poked his head in just to be sure his conclusions were correct. Happy to see that they were, he slipped inside and made for the nearest empty high-backed booth. A plain young woman with a frankly unbelievable bosom spilling from her tight gathered blouse approached almost at once.
“What’ll ya have?” she demanded while giving the tabletop a lick and a promise with her grungy towel.
Timmy kept a leery eye on her straining top, positive that it was going to give way at any moment. Those were lethal weapons she was carting around and he wanted to make sure he wasn’t in the line of fire when her top exploded. “What do you have?” he asked absently.
“Venison stew, chicken pot pie and hot bread.” She rattled it off with the bored expression of a woman who’s been on her feet too long.
“I’ll have one of everything and a pint of ale.” Timmy edged deeper in the booth and glanced around the dark room as she stomped away with her blouse still intact. They must use some strong fabric in waitress outfits, he decided as he watched her leave. Only three lights flickered in the room, providing minimal illumination. He caught a whiff of smoke that revealed the presence of someone smoking illegal Earth cigarettes in the small room. Obviously, the local justice system was pretty lax.
The young woman returned with a tray loaded down with steaming food. It landed on the table with a thud as her breasts shimmied beneath the top. Hastily, Timmy helped her unload the tray. She shot him an odd glance and flounced off to get his ale.
Timmy grabbed a hot yeasty roll from the bread basket, tore it apart and dunked it in the smoking stew. Lifting the dripping bread to his mouth, he took a hearty bite and sighed with relief. It was delicious. The cook was probably a troll, he speculated. They were the best cooks in the kingdom. Without further hesitation, he dug in. He had polished off the stew and was nearly finished with the chicken pot pie when he heard the name “Sidney” from the booth behind him.
Pausing in his eating, he listened intently.
“Oh please! What kind of idiot keeps a pet rock?” a male with a whiny light tenor voice exclaimed.
“When you’re the king you can have any kind of pet you want—even a rock,” a deeper voice replied and with horror, Timmy recognized Florian LeFleur was the speaker.
Tenor voice laughed heartily. “That’s exactly why we need a new ruler. Tomorrow morning I’ll take Sidney to the blacksmith and borrow his anvil and sledgehammer. When I finish, Sidney will just be a pile of marbles.”
Florian growled. “Don’t be stupid, Nigel. All that will do is make the king angry. You’ll mess up the plan and your mother will lock you away with the pixies. Quit screwing around with the damned pet rock. Everything is under control. Our spies have informed me that my ex-butler Raulf has talked that idiot Gareth into giving Daffodil to him. It should be very easy to snatch her right from under his nose.”
“The butler did it, huh?” Nigel chortled in glee. “I always wanted to say that.”
Timmy heard Florian sigh gustily. “I cannot believe Morgana is your mother. She must be tearing her hair out. No wonder she suffers from PMS. I would have drowned you at birth. Get me the damned pet rock so I can return it to the king. We don’t want him to suspect a thing. Then go to the turkey races like you said you were going to.”