I’m taking a break between packing boxes of books and mags for FantasyCon in Nottingham this weekend. If you are attending, come over to the Screaming Dreams table. I only realized when I packed my Exit, Pursued by a Bee books (published by Double Dragon) and Escape Velocity Magazines with copies of Dimensions (from Adventure Books of Seattle) that I could have filled a dealer’s table by myself! But it will be a blast to share a table with Steve Upham’s small press Screaming Dreams and his newest published author, Allyson Bird who is launching her Bull Running for Girls (what a great title). Also there is Screaming Dreams other 2008 book, Dragons in Manhattan by the Fantasy legend, John Grant.
My pulse is already up – I hope my blood pressure can stand it!
I should have packed last night but I remembered in time to attend my local writers’ circle in Chester. I’ve been a member for at least 5 years but keep forgetting to go. At least four people there recognised me and I knew the names of enough so as not to appear a complete stranger. They are a friendly group and contain gifted poets and fiction writers. I am honoured to be among them during the Chester Literary Festival next month at which I’ll be reading an extract from Exit.
Back to FantasyCon in Nottingham this weekend. It is an oddity in some ways that many of the members of the critique group of the British Science Fiction Association also meet at FantasyCon. Not officially; it just happens that many BSFA writers also write or read fantasy and live near enough to Nottingham to make the trip a great social event. This is usually in a large room where the bar also happens to be. Not that I’ll be drinking much: I like to keep a clear head when gleaning tips off agents, publishers and fellow writers.
The other good aspect of being in Nottingham is feeling the spirits of medieval England, Robin Hood (if he actually existed is immaterial) and the Sheriff along with merry and unhappy men and women still roam the streets. Better still, my son lives and works in the city. My selling books and networking with the fantasy greats is spiced with being able to be dad again. Especially as this will be the first time my wife and I are visiting son’s fiancee in her own home and visiting her parents. How much better can it get? Well, daughter’s baby had its 20 week scan this week. It’s a boy and already riding an invisible bike!