Fantasycon! And my general lack of geography skills.

I dimly remember doing reasonably well at Geography in secondary school. I was pretty good at drawing maps and pictures of volcanoes, and even in the year when our teacher was a fraudster who claimed to be a) an ex-cop from the mean streets of Chicago and b) a geography teacher (and was in fact neither of those things), I was still getting A-grades. However, planning my train tickets to Fantasycon the other day I realised that I actually have no idea where Scarborough is exactly, other than, you know, on a bit of the coast somewhere. As it turns out, Scarborough is really quite far up north, and may well be as far north as I’ve ever been! Exciting! In my defence, I am London down to my soot-and-jellied-eel-encrusted-bones and generally get a bit confused about anything north of Luton.

So! Fantasycon. I’ll be there, mooching around and haunting the bar, so if you are also there, do come and say hello (I am always happy to sign books and doodle dragons in them). I will also be doing a panel on killing off your main characters!

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(quick answer: only kill off your main characters when it would be especially hilarious to do so)

I will also be there cheering some mates on for the Gemmell Award, and awkwardly fiddling with my napkin during the British Fantasy Awards (amazingly, The Iron Ghost is up for Best Novel, against some really genuinely incredible books). I am looking forward to the profiteroles.

This just in: Fantasycon now alarmingly close

It’s Fantasycon next weekend.

This raises lots of questions, such as: how it is nearly the bloody end of October already? Where is this year going? Seriously, I swear it was April yesterday. And so on.

It might also raise the question: hey what are you doing at Fantasycon? Does it mostly involves the bar? Well yes it does, but also on the Saturday at 4pm I will be on a panel called Here be Dragons: How can epic fantasy reinvent itself? alongside Bradley Beaulieu, Den Patrick, Brandon Sanderson and Marc Turner, with the excellent Gillian Redfearn moderating. Hooray! I will move swiftly on from here pretending I am not super nervous about that…

And then at 7.00pm we’ll be running a special edition of Super Relaxed Fantasy Club with readings and chatter from Kim Lakin-Smith and Adrian Tchaikovsky, so two of my very favourite genre people. It’s going to be a good one.

On Sunday I will also be attending the British Fantasy Society awards, because much to my unending surprise I am up for Best Newcomer (I keep remembering that this is real and freaking out a little bit). And then I will likely go home and sleep for about 24 hours.

So if you see me at fantasycon do say hello – I am rubbish at being the person who says hello, and also terrible at recognising people, and at remembering names (I know, I am really selling myself here) but despite being shy I do like saying hello to people and will happily draw dragons, or indeed other things on request. See you there!

Where am I? What’s going on? Cons and wotsits UPDATED

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Yes, you too can witness me awkwardly signing books, IN FLESH SPACE

I’ve been putting off writing this post slightly, because I haven’t actually known what I’ll be doing, really, over the next few months, but August is suddenly looming and it occurs to me that I should probably get my finger out. As I gradually learn stuff, I will update this post, and wave it about some more. So this is the rough draft, as it were.

So! Hello! Convention season is upon us. What am I up to? Where can you find me should you need a dragon drawn in a book?

6th of August Fantasy in the Court

Come and hang out at Goldsboro Books, one of the loveliest bookshops in London, with a bunch of fantasy authors. What could be better than that? I always look forward to this event.

7th to the 9th of August Nineworlds Geekfest

On the Friday I will be chatting dragons and griffins and giant spiders on the “It’s ALIIIIIVE: Creating a Monster” panel, 1.30pm to 2.45pm

On Saturday morning, I’ll be on the panel for The End of Author Mystique, where possibly I realise that after 105K tweets, I am probably not that mysterious any more. From 10am to 11.15am.

On Sunday morning, the excellent writer Den Patrick and I will be hosting a special “pastries and coffee” edition of the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club. Readings tbc, and there will be a chance to win a copy of The Folio Society’s gorgeous edition of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Chat and shenanigans will take place from 10am to 11.15am, and we hope to see you all there. Our early morning wakefulness will be sponsored by Orbit!

Then, on the Creative Writing track, Den and I will be making another appearance on the “Support Groups for Writers: How to make them work” panel, at 1.30pm to 2.45pm.

On September the 26th I will be at the lovely Bristolcon, and from the 23rd to the 25th of October I will be at the fabulous Fantasycon. I’ve no clue what I’m doing yet, but I am always ready and willing to sign books, draw in people’s books, or generally bore on about Dragon Age or Mass Effect, so please do say hello if you see me.

 

My 2014: A Year in Pictures, Books, and Cider

It feels odd to say it, because I’ve never really been the sort of person to look back over a year and judge it on its merits or disasters (mainly because I have a terrible memory) but I think 2014 has been an incredible year for me.

The year before last I was pootling away writing novels that I confidently expected no one would ever read. I was happy doing that, because I’d worked out that writing was what I was supposed to be doing, but the next stage – the getting an agent and selling a book stage – seemed cheerfully impossible, the sort of thing that happened to other people.

And so, 2014, which thanks to the wonderful Juliet Mushens and Headline, saw my book sitting on the shelves of actual bookshops. I’m still, in my heart, a tiny bit stunned.

Here are a bunch of pictures from this year, with some of the people and moments that have made it a special one for me (I did that My Year thing on facebook but it generated a whole bunch of incredibly unflattering photos and none of my book launch, so bum off, facebook)

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Forbidden Planet London, February

We launched THE COPPER PROMISE in Forbidden Planet on my birthday. I was sweaty and terrified, but there was cake and lots of friendly faces. And they sung me happy birthday.

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SRFC, Royal Festival Hall, February

Shortly after that, I attended my first ever Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, having missed the first one thanks to a chest infection. As with everything, I imbued it with my sense of class and dignity. Den Patrick reads from his book, and does a better job than me as usual.

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Blackwells, Charing Cross Road, March

In March, Den and I did a joint event at Blackwells where we were interviewed by the fabulous Jared from Pornokitsch. Many copies of The Copper Promise and The Boy With the Porcelain Blade were signed.

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A Bookshop

The book is now in bookshops! I have no idea where this photo comes chronologically, but it has The Copper Promise in a Scott Lynch, George R R Martin, James Oswald sandwich so I’ve gone with this one. I have LOTS of pictures of my book in bookshops. It is amazing.

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Pyra, Tyrant and Tummy Lord

There have been a lot book photos, so here is a random photo of the cat on the day we let her out in the garden. She looks very pretty here, but promptly came inside and puked. Thanks Pyra.

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Lambeth Country Show, in a time and place known only as cider

Marty and I attended the Lambeth Country Show in the summer and drank vast amounts of Chucklehead cider, as is now traditional. I think the fact that this picture is on its side is appropriate.

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10 years in the iso cubes is a bit much for “loitering near the bar”

August was the Month of Conventions! At Nineworlds I ran into a Judge.

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Here I am, demonstrating that you can’t looked composed for a photo whilst talking on a panel

At Fantasycon I talked about Grimdark on a panel and apparently managed to say some sensible things (“lol Grimdark”, in summary) and managed to turn up late to SRFC.

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Land’s End, in lots of sun

At some point we took a holiday, and there was much relaxing. Cornwall was amazingly sunny and we bought several plastic dinosaurs.

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The Iron Ghost, sequel to The Copper Promise

And towards the end of 2014, my next book baby arrived! The Iron Ghost in all its blue glory. There are times when publishing seems to take forever, and times when everything seems to happen at once. I can’t believe we’re here already.

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My awesome Christmas zombie av, by the amazing Crispin Young

In the end, there were a lot more photos I could have put up here, most of them involving alcohol, but I have to stop somewhere. I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has helped make this year such an excellent one, and all those people who read The Copper Promise and said kind things about it – and above all thank you to Marty, who has kept me going this year with a mixture of support, booze, and inappropriate jokes.

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Books, together at last!

Fantasycon and Super Relaxed Fantasy Club

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Big and Little

 

It’s been a crazy busy month, so crazy busy in fact that I’ve completely failed to blog about the Mega Genre Fortnight of Events – Fantasy in the Court, Gollancz Fest, LonCon – but in an effort to avoid a meandering blog post where I attempt to summon memories from my incredibly tired brain, I will just say that I had an awesome time and was very lucky to chat to a lot of fabulous people.

Talking of awesome conventions, Friday sees me venturing up to York for Fantasycon. I love York: it has lots of history, lots of pubs, and you can buy mead and swords there. Obviously my sort of place. On the Saturday I will be taking part in a panel called Beyond Grimdark, which should be interesting, and in the evening at 9pm we have a special bumper edition of Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, including readings from Laura Lam, Ed Cox, Emma Newman, Niel Bushnell, AND the excellent James Barclay will be interviewing Simon Spanton for us, Gollancz editor extraordinaire and all round good egg. This along with all the usual chat and relaxed attitudes.

Guys, it’s going to be epic.