Saturday, 15 October 2016

A Fairytale Forest

Behold the beauty of Victoria Leslie's artwork. I am totally in love with it. Not only is Victoria an extremely talented writer, writing as V.H.Leslie, and a stunning person, it seems she also has an incredible talent for visual art.

If you're in Portsmouth this weekend you'll find Victoria's artwork on display at venue no. 10 - full details here and here.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Well that was Fantasycon by the Sea

A week has passed since the wonderful Fantasycon by the Sea and I've just about found my land legs. I had a blast - from the usual excitement of meeting up with everyone again, of passing hugs and hellos, to relaxing into a weekend full of chats, panels and free wine. Free wine which included a corked bottle of Prosecco that accidentally uncorked and attacked a fellow attendee. Oops! I'm bouncy + it was gassy = disaster. .

The Prosecco was courtesy of Emma Barnes of Snowbooks, leftover from the awesome launch for the Snowbooks Horror Novellas, where my book, The Bureau of Them, was relaunched. I spent the launch seated between the wonders that are John Llewellyn Probert and Gary Fry. As I was high on a bottle of Lucozade (it doesn't take much) I may have driven them ever so slightly insane. But hey, I was excited and it's not often I get to launch a book. Wonderful to finally meet Emma and Tik Dalton of Snowbooks.

I want to say the highlight of my weekend was the launch but it was probably spending a good part of Saturday with 'The Girls'. An awesome, talented, amazing group of writers - Priya Sharma, Laura Mauro, Georgina Bruce, Victoria Leslie, Tracy Fahey - who I am honoured to call friends. They certainly made my con. It was the first time I'd met Georgina and she is an absolute blast. 

We bumped into Alison Littlewood and Fergus on our way to the con. Thankfully not literally bumped into them as that would have been catastrophic. They were driving beside us on the A road and then they sped in front and we followed them most of the way. Very surreal. My most-wanted book purchase of the weekend was Alison's new novel 'The Hidden People'. Did not spend anywhere near enough time with them.

Favourite panel was 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun'. with Priya Sharma, Maura McHugh, Catriona Ward, Heide Goody and Ann Nicholls. They could have chatted for a few more hours and not run out of things to say. Although they may have needed wine. Favourite reading was Kit Power's chicken story. Someone should have filmed it. Brilliant. I highly recommend catching him read at the next convention. I so need to unearth Godbomb from my to read bookcase. Yes, we are way past the 'to read shelf'. 

Oops! moment of the weekend was (high after the launch) kidnapping Jess Jordan (who is modelling the Snowbooks novellas at the top of this post) and forcing her to drink free wine. I was at this point carrying around an open bottle (would you believe I don't drink much?). The oops - when Ray Cluley found us and asked what time Priya's reading was. I'd forgotten (sorry Priya). We ran like the wind (making sure not to spill any wine) and made it just in time. Due to my lateness I was stuck behind a pillar and didn't hear a word but I'm sure it was awesome. Her stories are always awesome.

As to Priya, she WON the BRITISH FANTASY AWARD for BEST SHORT STORY. Oh my goodness! What a moment. So well deserved. I may have cried a little. With joy. Although, I was concerned people may think I was crying because I didn't win. I saved that for when I crawled under the blanket when I got home. With wine. Several bottles of wine and bars of chocolate. This is why I've only just found my land legs. 


Although, I did spend the first two days in bed trying to remember my name. Roll on next year. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Fantasycon by the Sea 2016

I've finished work for the week and Friday we're up bright and early to head off to the awesomeness that is Fantasycon. This year it's in sunny Scarborough. I've printed out a list of everything I want to attend, which leaves me no time to eat or pee. I've even graded my interest in each panel - haven't resorted to colour coding yet.

The one thing I have to attend is the Snowbooks launch of my novella, The Bureau of Them, which is being launched alongside novellas by Ray Cluley, Andrew Hook, John Llewellyn Probert, Mark Morris, and Gary Fry. We'll be sharing the room with Titan who are releasing books by Mark Morris, Tim Lebbon and Marc Turner. Not an event to be missed.

It's on the Saturday, 2:00 to 3:00 pm in the Main Ballroom of the Grand Hotel.

Oh, and for those attending the launch, there is a limited (about twenty - unless I have another mad creative fit between now and Fantasycon) amount of my handmade cards available. They're awesome. Trust me. Awesome and free.

I'll also be at the British Fantasy Awards on the Sunday where both Bureau and Mark's novella, Albion Fay, are nominated in the novella category. Also my short story, When the Moon Man Knocks, is nominated for Best Short Story - alongside the awesomeness that is Priya Sharma's Fabulous Beasts.

And on Saturday evening (11:30 pm in the Reading Cafe, Royal Hotel), Simon Bestwick will be reading an excerpt from his forthcoming novel, The Feast of All Souls, which has a cracking cover and is released on the 6th December. You can pre-order it on Amazon.

See you there, kids.