Well, I’m home and just about recovered after an exhausting but exhilarating FantasyCon. Even more excellent than last year (apart from the hotel, of which the less said the better…).
As expected, I met up with some old friends from last year, and made some new ones. A word of advice: if you can possibly, possibly afford it, stay over at least one night, because all the really useful stuff like networking happens in the bar. After staying up until 2am for two nights in a row, I am quite hoarse – but it was so worth it!
I also bought a couple of books, including Never Again, an anthology of weird fiction against racism and facism, with proceeds going to charities like Amnesty International. Whilst I don’t consider myself to be at all political, somehow these themes creep into my work via my sneaky subconscious, so I wanted to see what other writers were doing with the topic.
Delightful surprises of the weekend, in ascending order of awesomeness:
- Bumping into Sara Jayne Townsend, whom I hadn’t seen since the 2008 Winchester Writers’ Conference
- Meeting up with Juliet E McKenna, another acquaintance from Winchester, who introduced me to fellow author Mike Shevdon
- Introducing myself to Mark Chadbourn (on the flimsy excuse of getting him to sign my copy of “The Sword of Albion”) and ending up talking about Elizabethan fantasy and getting some recommendations on who to approach with my book
- Serendipitously managing to get myself introduced to Marc Gascoigne of Angry Robot Books, pitching my novel to him and getting invited to submit sample chapters. Am still slightly in shock…
I’m already signed up for next year’s con, which will be in Brighton. Farther for me to travel but, apart from happy memories of my first two FantasyCons, I won’t be sorry to see the back of the Britannia Hotel, Nottingham…