WFC2013… Quick Round-Up

After three days of drinking, very little sleep, and a lot of travelling. This was the only cure!

After three days of drinking, very little sleep, and a lot of travelling. This was the only cure!

As I sit here cuddled up on the sofa watching Netflix and nursing a slightly sore throat and cold, I both curse and praise WorldFantasyCon.

Last November, Joanne Hall asked me if I was going to go to WFC in Brighton. I’d heard of the convention, didn’t know much about it, but signed up immediately. Around 1500 Writers, publishers, editors, authors, booksellers and fans all under one roof, it sounded pretty damn awesome and worth the £125 ticket price (I paid £125, I know some people paid £75 if they booked super early, and others paid £150).

Me, fangirling with Scott Lynch

Me, fangirling with Scott Lynch

So, fast-forward to Thursday 31st, I trundled down on the train from Banbury to Brighton and met Jo at our hotel (the actual convention was being held at the Brighton Metropole about 200m from our hotel, and rooms there were pretty pricey). After checking in and quickly realising that Brighton has NO MOBILE SIGNAL AT ALL, we made our way to the check-in area where I nearly peed myself in delight. Free books! Awesome!
Loaded down, and thoroughly exhausted – we hit the bar. Ouch. Hilton Hotels know how to screw you – £12 (roughly) for 2 vodka and cokes. My poor wallet suffered all weekend.

 

 

 

Friday and Saturday were full on days. There were panels, talks, readings from some of my favourite people in the industry. Neil Gaiman was awesome (of course) and his stories and anecdotes uplifting and amusing. On Friday, there was the Independent Publisher panel. I took away some ideas and food for thought, and came away generally feeling confident and excited about the future.

‘Broads With Swords’ was excellent. Truly excellent. The panelists were given an original brief that was both condescending towards female writers and derogatory. They flipped it and instead (with audience participation) reeled off a list of strong and wonderful female authors who can write fight scenes, show female strength without resorting to violence all the time, and deliver great villains. I put forward Anne Lyle and Fiona McIntosh, and then cursed myself for not mentioning my all-time favourite writer, Jacqueline Carey.

 

Gareth Powell reading 'Hive Monkey'

Gareth Powell reading ‘Hive Monkey’

Gareth Powell read from ‘Hive Monkey’. the follow on from ‘Ack Ack Macaque’. It sounded so good that I bought both books immediately afterwards. Yeah. Seriously.

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Pat Rothfuss and me

I fangirled listening to Pat Rothfuss read his short story from the ‘Unfettered’ by GrimOak Press; it was beautiful and the rhythm in his words lulls you. A mix of folklore and fairytale, I loved it. I wasn’t too impressed with the fact that the organisers clashed Pat with John Gwynne . John is definitely an author to watch, and with his amazing book Malice winning the Gemmell Morningstar, I really wanted to hear him read.

 

Early Saturday morning I heard Susan Batholomew read. Interesting sounding book and definitely one I’ve added to my kindle.

Scott Lynch bounded into the reading room and dazzled me his reading. I do love the way Lynch is able to subtly pull together humour, darkness, sarcasm and beautiful prose. Big thumbs up from me.

Trudi Canavan read from her up-coming book. It has a definite steampunk vibe with two different worlds and points of view. Had me immediately thinking of the ‘His Dark Materials’ series of books by Philip Pullman, but with a heavier fantasy feel. I’m really looking forward to this book.

On Sunday Fox Spirit held the launch of ‘Tales of Eve’ (edited by Mhairi Simpson).  I bought my copy (of course) and I’m glad I got there early as they sold out! Massive congrats, guys. Really well deserved. While there,  the wonderful Juliet E McKenna signed my copy for me.

Juliet McKenna signing 'Tales of Eve' for me

Juliet McKenna signing ‘Tales of Eve’ for me

 

The parties each night were a definite highlight. Free alcohol (I know, I’m a monster), and free goodie bags. Titan Books nailed their party with fun fair styled games to win books. The crossbow target game was wonderful and, being a bit of an archer, I won four books. I admit, I completely took advantage, but dammit! I wanted ALL THEIR BOOKS! The Gollancz and Jo Fletcher Books were fun, and in a different bar we had the  Tor and Del Ray party with music. Phew. It was a busy few days!

'Tales of Eve' sold out! Congrats!

‘Tales of Eve’ sold out! Congrats!

 
Saturday morning I rolled into bed around 5am and fell asleep at 6am. You know you’ve had fun when you’re kicked out of the hotel bar so they can clean!

Meeting so many lovely people was overwhelming. Over the weekend I had wonderful fun with Joanne Hall, Adam DaltonK R GreenSorcha O’Dowd, and Stewart Gardiner. There were many many other people, but these guys made my weekend super fun, and I hope to catch up with them again.

So, this is my quick round-up of WFC2013. Sorry it’s not that detailed, or with more pictures, but my mobile battery is rubbish and I was far too busy to snap!

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Bookworm Orgasm

First off, apologies for the lack of updates, I guess not much has happened in my life in the last few weeks that bears mentioning!!

Work seems to be “same old same old” – my shift partner leaves for greener pastures at the end of this week 😦 Sad times.

My iPad arrived – yay! It truly is a good piece of kit! The absence of adobe and a flash player is slightly annoying but the incredible kindle app and social networking capabilities excite me greatly!

I downloaded my first book – Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Wise Man’s Fear” – was released in March but I had deliberately been waiting for an e-reader before I read it.

WELL WORTH THE WAIT! Mr Rothfuss has such an interesting way of telling his story.

The journey started with ” The Name Of The Wind”  and continues with the above.

Kvothe (our hero) has started a new life as Kote, a humble innkeeper. He is tracked down by a chronicler who has figured out who Kote really is and is desperate to hear his tales, so the whole two books start from Kvothe as a young boy through to him being fifteen, check out this paragraph and tell me that it doesn’t reek of awesomeness!

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“I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.”

***

I devoured the book in two days, all 998 pages of it, my speed reading left me incredibly sad 😦 I’ll probably have to wait another 2 years for the next one.

My only saving grace …

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS IS RELEASED TOMORROW!!!!! OH YES!!!

I have it set to auto download on my iPad and I will hungrily be reading it every chance I get!!!!

Best be worth it GRRM!!!! ………

I cannot believe how many free books the Kindle has to offer, tis incredible. My geeky little heart practically explodes with joy each time I see a new free title pop up on my “recommendation list” – I’m a book whore, I’m sorry.

I have over 300 books in my bedroom and gave away over 150 late last year, I seriously cannot buy many more paper books, electronic all the way from now on!!!

My own writing is coming along well, I’m slightly torn though, do I finish writing my story to absolute completion, edit and split into three OR do I work at polishing the first third to perfection and send it off to an agent??

Thoughts greatly appreciated, especially from those who have any idea how the agent/ publishing world works!

I know some people will probably sneer and raise an eyebrow at me being so enthusiastic about my work, but I’m a great believer in “if you don’t try, you’ll never know”. I’m my own biggest critic and I lack a lot of self confidence, but I have grown to love my characters and my tale has progressed and is maturing at a good rate.

Away from the writing talk now and back to my real life!

Hospital appointment on the 20th … I have an ultrasound and have to drink a LITRE of water before hand, anyone who knows me will understand my anxiety at this. I have the world’s smallest bladder. Fact.

I cannot even manage a full cup of tea, how I am going to manage that much water is beyond me …. Arghhhhhh

My 3rd wedding anniversary is coming up on the 25th, where has the time gone??? I was reflecting the other day and realised that I will be 29 in February, my 20’s have flown past. Not happy, time for me to make my mark on the world!

With that, I’m off.