FantasyCon 2016 and Book Launches

It’s been an eventful and exciting month for me on the writing front, a whirlwind of new experiences, nerve-wracking waits and last minute panics (more on this in the very next post).

First up we had FantasyCon 2016, FantasyCon by The Sea, in Scarborough at the end of September. It was great catching up with friends from all over and talking books, writing, and nonsense of all sorts. As always happens at these conventions, my best intentions of going to see a wide range of interesting panels goes mostly unfulfilled in favour of talking in the bar. That said, some of the things I did go to included:

-Author Miles Cameron (of The Red Knight fame) talking about war logistics, scouting, water supplies, and why Sauron should have waged economic warfare on Gondor to bring it to ruin instead of going for ‘The Big Win’.

-Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris and Abaddon books had a candid and informative talk on the world of agents and publishing and on how much input his authors have on cover ideas (a lot): “I want a picture of me punching a bear in the face.”  “Yeah, OK.”

-Marcus Gipps, editor with Gollancz, answering questions on his life as an editor and on just how few books he is allowed to buy a year. He also refused to provide me with any blackmail on Edward Cox, drat him for his closed-lip ways :p

-An interesting panel on anti-heroes that featured, amongst others, Neil Williamson and Adrian Faulkner.

-The Gemmell Awards, where a lot of truly excellent books were up for the Morningstar award, including Battlemage by Stephen Aryan, The Vagrant by Peter Newman, and Starborn by Lucy Hounsom… with the frankly huge award bust eventually won by Peter Newman for The Vagrant.

And then there was my stuff…
On the Saturday of the con’ Thirty Years of Rain launched alongside offerings from the excellent Newcon Press and a small selection of our authors were signing books – my first ever signing! At which point I realised I need to come up with a list of witty comments to write in books. Also, remember to bring a pen, you fool! Oops.

This was then followed by my first ever story reading, to a small room of people. Eep! *Has flashbacks to horrible high school English talks (it was on sharks if you are interested)* It went well, and I had excellent reading-mates in Neil Williamson, Ruth EJ Booth and Ian Hunter.

The week after heralded the second launch of Thirty Years of Rain, and this time a horde of people packed into Watersones on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. There were excellent readings from Elaine Gallagher, Ruth EJ Booth, Elsie WK Donald, Ian Hunter, Michael Cobley and Hal Duncan. Then followed a Pokemon hunt (gotta catch em all) to track down the contributing members of the Glasgow SF Writer’s Circle in attendance to get their scrawl down on paper. All in all, an excellent night!

Photo thanks to Stewart Horn