My first – and not last – Edge-Lit convention

How was your weekend? Mine was ‘Lit’.

I’ll get my coat.

Seriously, Edge-Lit in Derby is a fabulous one-day SFFH (it includes Horror) convention and this year was my first attendance. It won’t be my last. Aside from it being pretty close to home, which immediately makes it great, it is full of famous authors and aspiring writers and tonnes of friends, old and new.

Alex Davis runs Edge-Lit and Sledge-Lit, the November convention day, and he did a superb job of herding authors into the right places and creating a schedule that was fun, fascinating and informative.

I did my first ever writing workshop, on POV. Specifically, how many POVs is too many POVs? And yes, as an author with 10 POVs in Godblind, I am well aware of the irony in running such a workshop. However, it was an absolute blast and I think (hope) people had a couple of takeaways from it.

Naturally, it was gate-crashed and heckled by RJ Barker and Mark de Jager, though to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The group average of POVs was around 5 in close third person, so I felt a bit silly with my 10, but hopefully not as silly as JP Ashman, who has 20+ POVs. *I know.*

Also in the group of reprobates who came to listen to me waffle were Kareem Mahfouz, Sadir Samir (from Sweden no less!) and Mike Evans. It was great to meet them in the flesh, having chatted on Facebook for a good while. And of course, to meet RJ in real life. And yes, his boast is correct – he is more ridiculous than you had expected. Naturally, we got on like a house on fire.

After that, we grabbed some lunch, entirely failed to wander into the dealer’s room (sorry everyone!) and prepared for my next panel: Epic! Why is fantasy still so popular?

Again we were forced to endure RJ Barker, this time on a panel. This time with a microphone. He hadn’t even read the set questions! He cracked jokes only one person in the audience understood. It was ridiculous.

It was great fun.

The Waterstones table sold out of copies of Godblind, which made me all excited, and I signed some copies for people who’d bought them. There were also some baby Godblind samples in the goodie bag, which looked great and offered the first few chapters. Hopefully that generated some sales, and one canny gent asked me to sign the sample as well as his copy.

Godblind sample

After that I had no more panel commitments so things rapidly became hazed with a warm buzz of alcohol. The David Gemmell awards were on and I was rooting away for Mark de Jager and Adrian Selby, though the Morningstar Award ultimately went to Megan O’Keefe for Steal the Sky.

The auction was a riot as we all did our best to disrupt proceedings and drive the prices up with some clever (we thought so anyway) last second bids. RJ won himself two tickets and a hotel to Sledge-Lit, which his publicist at Orbit then went on to explain they would have arranged for him anyway. Yep. Ridiculous.

Kareem won a critique from Gillian Redfearn at Gollancz – that is going to be money very well spent, in my opinion. Mike won copies of all the shortlisted books (I think). Definitely books anyway. Lots of books.

After that it was basically carnage. We sat with Mark de Jager and Adrian Selby and Adrian’s agent, the lovely Jamie Cowen, as they decided to put their lack of winning an award behind them on a sea of liquor. It pretty much continued from there. We made our way to the Dolphin Inn which serves incredibly cheap alcohol, which you have to drink in large quantities to combat the fact the place is hotter than the surface of the sun.

We made it back to our hotel for a nightcap and bumped into Mike, Kareem, Sadir, Laura Hughes and – I didn’t realise at the time – the family of John Gwynne. Eek. We finally made it to bed at just gone 2am.

While Mike was allegedly up and gone by 7am, we had a more leisurely day, including an epic Wetherspoons breakfast to soak up the gore of the night before.

Edge-lit breakfast

Mike also did a brilliant round up of his view of Edge-Lit, which was his first convention. You can read it here.

All in all, a fabulous day out. Can’t wait for next year!

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Currently watching: Game of Thrones series 5 – NO SPOILERS FOR SEVEN!

Currently listening: Been Listening, Johnny Flynn

Currently reading: Court of Broken Knives, Anna Smith Spark


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