Fantasycon 2014: Cloaks, Curry, and Karaoke

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We did not actually go to this pub, but it is my favourite, so here’s a picture.

This last weekend I attended by very first Fantasycon, which just happened to be in York, one of my very favourite places. I was initially quite nervous about the whole thing – my lovely bloke wouldn’t be attending this one, I’d be staying in the B&B on my own, and I had both a panel and the super mega bumper edition of Super Relaxed Fantasy Club to attend. I suspected I would get lost, or not know anyone, or feel terribly homesick, or simply fail to interact with people successfully. My experience of talking on panels in the past has been somewhat mixed, and I have to admit that over the last year I have wondered whether it’s something I should do at all, given it seems to be against my nature in lots of ways – I always enjoy listening to people, and having opinions on things (ye gods, do I ever have opinions on things) but I’m generally better at writing these opinions down, rather than managing to verbalise them in a witty and concise manner in front of a whole bunch of people. That, I’m not so great at.

As it happens, I think this time I managed to get away with it. The panel, which was titled “Beyond Grimdark”, featured me, Adrian Tchaikovsky, James Oswald, and Martin Taylor, with David Moore moderating. There appeared to be lots of people attending (I can only be vaguely certain of this, as once I’m in the chair I’m usually too scared to look at the audience) and the discussion was lively and interesting, AND, get this, I even managed to say a few things that might have made sense, and that were quite important to me.

My attendance of Super Relaxed Fantasy Club was almost scuppered by dinner at a curry house that had a) the cheapest glasses of wine I’ve ever seen b) narn breads so big they hung them from metal trees c) a casual approach to actually bringing the food, wine, or the bill, and c) a window seat that was apparently cat-nip to all of York’s drunkest and most exhibitionist citizens (thanks to Lucy Hounsom and Max Edwards for a dinner I won’t forget in a hurry). Having finally coaxed the waiters into bringing both the cheap wine and the bill, we necked the booze and made a hurried and dignity-free journey back to the hotel (who coincidentally had the most expensive glasses of wine I’ve ever seen) so that I was just in time to stumble apologetically into the room just as Den Patrick was contemplating throttling me, no doubt. Luckily, the event itself went swimmingly, largely thanks to Den, and as well as top readings from Laura Lam, Ed Cox, Emma Newman and Niel Bushnell, we also had a bonus section where James Barclay interviewed Simon Spanton – a lot of great people, talking about great books. It was fab, and I felt a tiny sliver of pride at how this odd little joke on twitter has turned into an event that people actually enjoy. (A note for newcomers to SRFC – the fantasycon edition was somewhat less chatty than usual, partly because we were overexcited and packed our time with readers, but normally there is a greater ratio of sitting around drinking cider)

Other highlights for me included my first ever win in Cards Against Humanity, watching the marvellous Juliet Mushens and Andrew Reid belt out “A Whole New World” at the Karaoke (some things cannot be unseen), almost getting Adrian Tchaikovsky to recite some Dr Seuss for me, the excellent lady who ordered a copy of my book on her tablet while I was standing next to her (hooray 21st Century!), being a nuisance in the sword shop, and listening to Charlaine Harris talk – she has the most wonderfully reassuring voice. I chatted with tons of marvellous people and caught up with lots of friends (I won’t attempt to name them all here because I will forget loads) and now I am absolutely knackered. Really, fantasycon has broken me. Big thanks must go here to the Redcloaks, as ever, who were simply fabulous. Roll on next year!

Super Relaxed Fantasy Club – York edition!

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EDIT: Unfortunately Adrian Tchaikovsky can no longer make it to the York meet, although I am pleased to tell you that David Tallerman will be reading instead, along with some other authors yet to be confirmed.

Exciting news! Super Relaxed Fantasy Club is heading up to York (only one of my favourite places ever). Details below!

WHEN: Saturday 2nd August

WHERE: Brigantes Bar and Brasserie
114 Micklegate, York, North Yorkshire YO1 6JX

MORE WHEN: the first reading will be at 5pm, so best to turn up before then.

WHO: the amazing Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt series, will be reading and doing a Q&A, with further readings to be confirmed.

WHAT THEN: drinking, chat, the usual SRFC shenanigans

HOORAY!

 

Quick Blog Round-Up & Ghosts of the Citadel available tomorrow!

A massive storm has blown up from nowhere outside, so while I sit here with the telly off and rubber shoes on, here’s a brief round up of cool stuff happening today and tomorrow.

Firstly, I’m over at Abhinav Jain’s blog talking about how I name my characters (I have an incredibly intricate system, as I’m sure you can imagine *ahem*) – it’s a post I very much enjoyed writing, and it made me realise some things about my process that were entirely new to me.

Secondly, I am chuffed that The Copper Promise is mentioned on Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s list of books he enjoyed this year – particularly since I finished Dragonfly Falling this morning and I’m very much in love with the Shadows of the Apt series at the moment.

My good friend Adam Christopher also mentions The Copper Promise in his list of things to look out for next year (also next year, Adam has two books out – The Burning Dark and Hang Wire. Now, I’ve read The Burning Dark and it is A. May. Zing. So get on it.)

And lastly, the first part of The Copper Promise ebook, Ghosts of the Citadel, is out tomorrow! 99p gets you the opening chunk of my sword and sorcery “romp” (my agent described it as a romp and now I will use that word as much as possible. Romp romp romp. 99p romp!)

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The Copper Promise: First Reviews

WARNING: There now follows a very self indulgent post where I shamelessly link to posts that are being lovely about my book.

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It’s been a tough sort of week really, with various things going wrong – I won’t bore you with it here, but I was stress-drinking large glasses of red by Wednesday – however, the very first reviews for The Copper Promise have started to come in, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. So you can consider this post an obvious attempt to cheer myself up:

Andrew Reid provides the most modern of reviews, stuffed full of gifs: Tom Hiddleston Dancing out of Ten

Pete Newman declares The Copper Promise to be “a good thing”: Tons of bad guys, an abundance of scars and a mild hint of sauce.

The legendary Graeme Flory writes a review that I suspect knows more about the book than I do: can we have the sequel now please?

And just to top it off, there has been some chatter on twitter from a couple of my favourite writers:

 

Well, I don’t know about you, but that cheered me up. Remember, The Copper Promise is already available for pre-order