FantasyCon 2016

A week after the event and the buzz from FantasyCon still hasn’t worn off. Scarborough turned out to be a fab venue, with an energising combination of faded Victorian grandeur and sea air. I’m determined to go back and explore the area properly when there aren’t as many distractions.

Alex Davis and his team of volunteers set up a wide-ranging programme of events, and huge thanks are due to them for organising a great weekend. It was refreshing to have plenty of space in the various function rooms so there were no disappointments turning up to find the room already packed out.img_5567 The seagulls provided a startlingly effective morning alarm call service, necessary after sitting up late into the night talking about diverse matters, such as Ballard, and trees, and Tolkien. Good company, good times.

On the Saturday I took part in a well-attended panel which was ably chaired by  Terry Jackman, along with Stephen Aryan, Jen Williams, Ian Whates, and Steve McHugh. We discussed whether we should be killing off our main characters and seemed to reach a consensus, that yes, we should. Except when the character in question is Mog, the Forgetful Cat. We also established it was extremely difficult to talk about death of main characters without spoilers.

It was lovely to catch up with the Angry Robot team again. Marc, Penny, Nick and Jared took excellent care of us over the weekend. I was on the train home when the news broke that Angry Robot Books had won the BFS Award for Best Independent Publisher. I’ve learned it’s remarkably difficult not to jump up and down and shriek with glee in a situation like that. Many thanks to everyone who helped make it such an excellent weekend!

That was last weekend. This weekend the new Open University MA in Creative Writing begins. This promises to be an adventure of an entirely different kind.

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FantasyCon 2015

FantasyCon begins tomorrow! The organisers have set up a great programme of events for the weekend, but hopefully there’ll still be some time to hang around in the bar.

I’ll be taking part in a panel on the Sunday morning:

Room: Suite 1

Sun 25 Oct 10.00am

By the Gods! Religion & Beliefs in Fantasy

How can we portray plausible belief systems in genre writing without doing a disservice to characters or becoming overly didactic?

Moderator: Juliet E McKenna. Panellists: John Connolly, Adam Dalton, Iain Grant, Jasper Kent, Susan Murray

And later on in the Mass Signing in the Dealer Room at noon.

Stop by and say hello!

Penrith signing

Autumn is setting in and writing work begins in earnest, but first a quick reminder that this Saturday, 19th September, I’ll be signing books at The New Hedgehog Bookshop, 19 Little Dockray, Penrith, from noon onwards. Do drop in and say hello if you’re passing by.

In other news, I’m delighted to say Adrian Magson has kindly featured me in the New Author profile in the October issue of Writing Magazine.

Now it’s nose to the grindstone until Fantasycon. I’ve been working on the outline of my third novel and it’s time to find out how much that helps – or hinders – the drafting process.

Events 2015

I’ll be out and about over the next couple of months.WaterborneExile-144dpi-2

August: Angry Robot will be invading Forbidden Planet in Birmingham (tomorrow evening!) and London (next Thursday evening).

September: On Saturday 19th I’ll be signing books at The New Hedgehog Bookshop, 19 Little Dockray, Penrith, from noon onwards.

October: I’ll be at Fantasycon in Nottingham all weekend and doing a panel, pencilled in for the Sunday morning, on religion in fantasy.

Do stop by to say hello if you get the chance!

Cover art for The Waterborne Blade

TheWaterborneBlade-144dpiSuper-quick blog post here. Lots going on behind the scenes and I’m deep in the first draft of the sequel – Waterborne Exile, due out August 2015 – but I had to surface to share this cover art, revealed yesterday.

It’s by Paul Young at Artist Partners. It’s gorgeous.

It’s as if art director Marc Gascoigne scooped out the contents of my cranium and distilled it down to produce this. Which is clearly impossible as I would have noticed. Unless the rumours about the robotic implants are true …

The Waterborne Blade is due for release 5 May (US and ebook), 7 May (UK).