My Day at EdgeLit 2: Living on the EDGE *air guitar*

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This Saturday I was in blisteringly hot Derby for the achingly cool EdgeLit 2. Above you can see a photo of me trying to look like I know what I’m talking about on the “Where Next for Fantasy Fiction?” panel (mainly that involved nodding at everything Adrian Tchaikovsky said). With thanks to Annie Catling for kind use of the photo!

It was a strange and slightly nerve-wracking day for me. I’ve been involved in talks on a smaller scale before – I sat in on a podcast/interview on steampunk at Alt.Fiction – but I’ve not really participated properly in a panel, particularly not one where you’re actually sitting on a little stage and have to hold a microphone and such. I did have a sense, sitting next to Adrian Tchaikovsky, Anne Lyle, Gav Thorpe and Freda Warrington – all writers with a number of books under their belts and well-deserved respect within the community – that I might be slightly out of my depth. I’m a debut author who hasn’t even debuted yet, after all. But I muddled through, largely thanks to my lovely panel colleagues who were very supportive and kind, and I managed to drop in a reference to Mass Effect*, so job done.

In the afternoon I had another panel, this time “How has the Internet Changed Writing?” with a trio of excellent chaps: Adam Christopher, Emma Newman and Andrew Hook. This time I felt a little more at ease, as I know Adam and Emma of old, of course, and Andrew, it turned out, had done a fabulous job of planning the panel so the whole thing had quite a natural structure. And let’s face it, I can talk about the internet all day with hardly any prompting at all.

Once I’d sweated my way through the panels I could relax a bit and have a few icy ciders. EdgeLit, like AltFiction, is a cosy convention with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and as ever it was marvellous simply to hang around the bar and café area, bumping into people and catching up. I went to Mike Carey’s reading, which turned out to be a little slice of awesome, and then spoke to him afterwards about Studio Ghibli films, of all things. I had dinner with Adam Christopher and the fabulous Lou Morgan, where we discussed our favourite serial killers and the disturbing fact that Adam has never eaten a Percy Pig. We skirted around the giant beer festival that was happening in the middle of the square, and admired the CAMRA members’ amusing balloon hats. I ate one of Andrew Reid’s legendary peanut butter cookies, and had too much wine, and met so many twitter friends I completely lost track, but it was fabulous to finally put face to twitter handles. Other random highlights included: talking Gaie Sebold, who was very funny; catching up with Del Lakin-Smith and laughing hysterically about something I can’t even remember now; Kim Lakin-Smith‘s amazing emergency shoes.

So I was nervous about everything, but as ever with this sort of thing it was all a lot less scary than I thought it would be, and the cheerfully welcoming atmosphere of EdgeLit meant I had a totally excellent day. AND the late night music in the bar played the theme tune from Cowboy Bebop, only the best theme tune of all time. I actually bopped around in excitement.

* “Mass Effect rules, AMIRITE?” More or less. And someone in the audience wooped. Whoever you were, I salute you.

Edge-Lit 2: The Edgening*

Since it just this minute happened, I am quite tempted here to tell you the story of how I nearly collided with a dead pigeon this morning, BUT I shall spare you the gruesomeness of that. I’m actually here to say that I’m at EdgeLit 2 in Derby this weekend, talking about fantasy and the internet (two of my favourite subjects, natch) and you can see the schedule here. Fox Spirit are having a launch too (how cute is the panda on their site?) and there will be cakes and chatter, and generally a rather funky time to be had by everyone, so if you’re around come and say hello.

 

*totally stole this off Andrew Reid, soz.

Introducing News Beast: Conventions and Pre-Orders

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So I thought I’d best do a quick round up otherwise I will forget things: an exceptionally boring Monday was livened up considerably when someone on facebook (I say someone; a lovely person with tremendous good taste, obviously) told me that she’d pre-ordered The Copper Promise. Yep, as well as having an ISBN and everything you can pre-order the book. This is marvellous and surreal and a little bit scary. Yes.

Also, I should mention that I will be popping up at Edge-Lit 2 in Derby on the 13th of July, where I will be talking on a couple of panels and attempting to look like I know what I’m waffling on about (unlikely, I know). I’ve been to conventions in the Quad before and it’s a very cool place for a gathering; just cosy enough that you tend to find people you know in the corridors quite often, so it feels like a very relaxed, friendly con. If you’re going do come and say hello.

In August I’ll be going along to the newest (and possibly sexiest) con on the block, the Nine Worlds Geekfest in London. On the Friday night I will be participating in a New Voices Slam Session (eek!) where I will read a bit from The Copper Promise. Will I do funny voices? Will I forget my characters’ names? Come and found out.

More from News Beast next week. Back to the studio!