September saw some fairly amazing things happen – I gave up work to write full-time (until the money runs out!), I was interviewed by those lovely chaps at the Grim Tidings Podcast – episode should drop soon and I’ll link to it here when it does – and I took part in the latest Grim Gathering, featuring the following stellar line up:
- Peter V Brett
- Mark Lawrence
- Joe Abercrombie
- Peter Newman
- Anna Stephens
Yep. That’s my name, under the list of their names. I was there – and by invitation, I’d like to point out. I did grim.
It was also without doubt the most nervous I’ve been for a panel. This was my BIG CHANCE, my seat at the big table, going toe to toe with the hard-hitters etc etc. So naturally it was brown-trousers time in a big way. Plus there were clearly going to be loads of people there – it’s not often you get to see PVB in the UK, after all, or him hanging out with Abercrombie and Lawrence.
Fortunately, I had enough time to, well, let’s be honest, to apply a lot of deodorant before the event started. I met Natasha, Anne, Joe and PVB in the hotel lobby and we walked together to Waterstones Bath. When we arrived, a bookseller asked us if we were there to attend the event. Peter told him we were the event! Nervous giggles abounded (on my part).
Peter Newman and Marc from Fantasy-Faction were already there, so I started to relax a bit by chatting to them. To kick off we had to introduce each other – I hadn’t known about this beforehand, but fortunately Marc let me introduce Joe, and I’ve read all his books so I didn’t feel like I was making stuff up!
The panel itself was excellent, Marc had come up with some really great questions and we all took turns answering, though by the time you’re the last person in the queue to answer, it’s pretty much all been said anyway. Still, I bumbled through and don’t think I made a total idiot of myself.
There were some great audience questions at the end and then the signing – which seemed to go on forever. I’m not saying this was a bad thing, it’s just the only signings I’ve done before have taken about three and a half minutes. This took an hour!
I was privileged enough to sign a lady’s arm, a walking stick, a random scrap of paper, a kindle, and lots of copies of Godblind. In fact, I’m delighted that Waterstones actually sold out of Godblind – so I guess either I didn’t make an idiot of myself, or the audience felt so sorry for me they bought my book anyway!! 🙂
We rolled on to The Salamander pub afterwards, where the upstairs room had been reserved for us. The messiest burger in the world followed, along with a few beers and lots of excellent conversation with the panel and some of the fans who’d come with us.
I then had a nightcap with PVB where we talked about the perils of being a debut and maximising sales etc. I went to bed with a huge grin on my face, and Natasha, PVB and I had breakfast the next morning before going our separate ways.
I had breakfast with Peter Brett. LIKE A BOSS. It was great.
Currently reading: Malice, by John Gwynne
Currently watching: Chicago Fire, Penny Dreadful season 3
Currently listening: Been Listening, Johnny Flynn