Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Barricade at #LFCC: 5 things about the London Film and Comic Con

Gillian Redfearn, Den Patrick, Ed Cox. 
Just time to post about the London Film and Comic Con 2014, which I had the honor of attending with fellow debut authors Den Patrick and Ed Cox on Sunday 13 July. Our panel covered breaking into the SciFi and Fantasy industry, as moderated by the very excellent Gillian of House Gollancz. 

I remember my early, post-University days, when the dream-crushing weight of 9-5 sloggery made my ambition to publish a novel seem horribly distant. Attending a talk like ours would have been helpful, I think - a few simple, practical accounts about the publication process might have made the whole thing seem more achievable. I was very pleased to take part.

#LFCC was certainly the biggest such event I’ve yet attended, so I thought I might share five things I learned from the experience:

1. Stay Frosty:

The Green room at LFCC was a partitioned space with tea, biscuits and trestle tables. When I arrived there weren’t many people around. It had the air of a sleepy station waiting room.

Then Lena Hedley, Summer Glau and David Wenham wandered past.

I’d love to pretend that I shared a cool nod of acknowledgement with each, but that would be a big, fat lie. Truth is, I was star struck. I will have to work on keeping my cool in these situations. Otherwise how am I going to cast them in the inevitable Barricade movie?

2. Ride the wave:

I was nervous enough before I noticed my famous room mates. There is a definite pattern to my emotions when I attend these events: on the morning I wake with a churning stomach and spinning head. I travel to the venue listening to loud music, blocking out all thoughts of Barricade, science fiction and public speaking in general. My heart pounds even worse as I meet my fellow panelists and await our turn on stage.

Then, the moment we start… I relax.

It just seems to be the way I work. Of course it would be far worse to become a gibbering jelly the moment I’m asked a question - but I still need to learn how to ride that pre-event terror wave.

3. Savour the moment:

We must have had at least thirty bright, interested folk turn out to hear us talk, which was a thrill. We only had half an hour, so couldn’t open things up for a Q+A, but Gillian drew some interesting stories out of us and I think we covered things pretty nicely – everything from finding an agent to dealing with dodgy reviews. Still, when you have an engaged crowd like that and we're all enjoying ourselves it's hard to stop.

4. Dress better:

When it comes to my clothes, I have to do better than work shirt and waterproof. I looked like I was taking a break from train spotting, for heaven's sake. Meanwhile Earl's Court heaved with some of the finest cosplay I’ve seen. Maybe I’ll go to the next one as Fatty…

5. Identify the competition:

I saw this monstrosity out front of Earl’s Court. No Fair. This is entirely the wrong Barricade.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Barricade at Waterstones

So here's the poster for the Gollancz Festival on 13 August at Waterstones Piccadilly in London...six quid is pretty bargainesque if you ask me...

Friday, 11 July 2014

Barricade update!

Things are barrelling along nicely with Barricade so I thought I would drop an update...

First of all, I have to say what a waking dream it is to discover the book on London's bookshelves. Seeing Barricade in my local bookshop window, plus Foyles, Blackwells and other town shops, made me tapdance on the spot and mutter happy things - causing fellow customers to edge slowly away from me. I remember my Dad taking me up the Charing Cross Road when I was little, and telling me it was the "Book Street" in London. It feels pretty damn special to see my novel living there.

That's in Sweden, that is
I should also mention that Barricade is doing good things in Sweden, where it's picked up a nice review already (or so Google translate tells me) - those cover colours may have helped. In fact the blue and yellow beast has picked up heaps of good reviews, which you can read in full here. Other notices are available...

I was privileged to attend the Wordpool festival a week ago today. I didn't get any pictures as it was a fleeting trip, but everyone involved was incredibly nice (free Jaffa cakes) and it was great to see the library services being so well used. I WILL return...

This weekend (Sunday 13th July) you can join me at the London Film and Comic Con with fellow Gollancz debutants Ed Cox and Den Patrick, legends both, discussing the doings of debuts, and if we get time, the meaning of it all. August 13th we'll also attend the Gollancz Festival 2014, held at Waterstones Piccadilly London, which promises to be quite something.

At Worldcon I am appearing on a  couple of Sunday panels - one on scifi comics slated for 12-1.30PM, then another on tropes in science fiction running from 7-8PM. Should be fun.

Finally must say that Barricade is also available in audiobook, as read by the very brilliant Rupert Degas, which is another genuine thrill.

Well, that about wraps us up for now. I have notes on Book 2 of the Barricade series and really must get cracking. Thing is I'm waiting to hear from the garage how the car's doing, and that is never a relaxing feeling. I really should take it to Rick's. A long way to go, but worth the service...