My Very Quick Write Up of the WFC2013

Well then, it’s time for a write up of the World Fantasy Convention.

I think it’s important to note at this point that this was my first convention, world or otherwise, that is specifically centered around fantasy, and definitely my first coming at it with a professional interest in the industry and genre.

So I’m not really sure what I was expecting but boy howdy was I not disappointed!

It was a fantastic weekend (and I’m sure I bored my family when I got home with tales of panels and meeting new people), the panels were interesting, everyone was friendly and there was some really great other events on too. All of the publisher’s parties were great fun and it was just astounding to be in the same room with so many important and fantastic people! I won’t lie to you there was some slight hyperventilation to start with (hmm, perhaps from this point forward I’ll try to sound less like a fan-girl).

I feel like there’s almost too much to talk about! And regretfully I didn’t take any pictures (a couple of Patrick Rothfuss’ reading but they’re super blurry), well apart from all the books that had to be hauled homeward!

The panels were all very interesting, ranging from whether women can write legitimate martial fantasy (spoiler alert: they definitely can), how to follow up writing with that pesky second book, world building, short story writing and everything in between! So I’ve come out of the convention with loads of ideas and there was even a panel on editing and putting together a short story anthology (so keep your eyes peeled for some news like that next year…), and what it’s like being a small independent press.

The art dealers room I found very cool, especially as I seem to have an unusual fascination and love of how books are designed and the end product. So there was much snooping around the artist room to see what cover art there was an even some snooping with covers for something I’m now thinking about (see above bracketed hints).

That’s also one of the reasons that I’m so excited with the Bragelonne sample book with translated excerpts of some of their fantasy works. I always find that the French edition covers that I’ve found to be some of the most exquisite of those on the market and really bring elements of the story to life before you’ve even picked up the book.

In a lot of ways, for me, it was an eye-opener for some unsung aspects of the publishing industry, like the short stories, the anthology editors and the agents. I’ve come into contact with some of these in my short time in the publishing industry but it was also really nice to see them explored in such an accessible and excellent manner.

Everyone was really friendly and it was quite a quest if you wanted to find someone that wasn’t smiling (not that I did, mind you)!

On a personal  note I was thoroughly ecstatic to see Mr Patrick Rothfuss do a reading ( I’m going again to the Forbidden Planet one in London) and it was a phenomenal reading. Mr Rothfuss said he wasn’t sure if it worked well if it was read out, but I think my goosebumps can attest that it works just fine!

And listening to the authors and the panels on various aspects of writing really helps you appreciate so much more the dedication, effort and skill that goes into a truly wonderful piece of writing.

So that’s all I’ve got to say on the subject for now, no doubt I shall think of more later on and curse myself for not telling you about it! But, thank you for stopping by everyone, and I’m sure you can tell that from all the exclamation marks how excited I was/am by the convention!

Until next time: be well, be kind, and have fun!

The Battle of Rothfuss and Pratchett

This week we’re going for something a little bit different (again). Instead of a review we’re going to be looking at the exciting (and I’m not going to lie slightly irritating) scheduling for the World Fantasy Convention as it looms on the horizons of our calendars.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m going to be dithering on about this time the World Fantasy Convention (we’ll call if the WFC for the sake of laziness and brevity) is an international convention for the publishing industry focusing on the fantasy genre. So perfect for me! It’s usually held in the USA but will sometimes make its way to Canada, and so this year marks only the third time that the convention has been hosted outside of North America. Great news for me!

If you go to the WFC website you can see a long list of attending members many of whom are delegate parties from publishing companies from around the world (Gollancz, Orbit, HarperCollins to name but a few) and many others are authors, old and new, famous and infamous. The rest are likely made up of people like me, keen enthusiasts and only just stepping foot into the industry! There’s panels, discussions and awards ceremonies so a little bit of everything that you could want!

So there was excitement abound recently as the WFC website placed up its first official line up of programming, with only a few short weeks to go! Of course, not all of the programming will be as fascinating as others to every single attendee but it all looks rather fabulous and my mouth is already salivating with the prospect of this fantastical buffet.

So I look down through the days and give a chuckle here and a coo there at various amusing and interesting panels. But what’s this!? “Sir Terry Pratchett: In Conversation” I am not ashamed to admit that there was a little bit of hyperventilation when I realised that Terry Pratchett is going to be an attending member of the WFC this year! It is not often that you are offered the opportunity to meet a man who is as much as part of British culture as he is an international best seller.

But, now! What is THIS!?

It turns out that the Conversations with Terry Pratchett happens to be scheduled for the same hour that the readings by Patrick Rothfuss is scheduled! This is a most unpleasant and undesirable turn of events. Mr Rothfuss is perhaps my favourite author, not only because of the lyrical and beautiful books he has produced but if you follow his blog you’ll see that he’s a very kind and humorous man who really does a lot for charity.

I am super super miffed at this, but I know that if it weren’t Patrick Rothfuss then it would be someone else and I’m sure another attending member would be just as upset as I was when I found out. But thankfully the scheduling does appear to have 2 readings per hour slot so I am hoping that this means the readings start every half an hour. This at least gives me half an hour of basking in the reflected glory of Terry Pratchett before I sprint to absorb the mighty awesomeness of Mr Rothfuss’s beard.

There are many other reasons to be going to the WFC and I am going to a small meeting with Tor UK the book publishers which I am also very much looking forward to. I am also hoping to get some meeting time with other publishers to get their take on what I can do to get into the fantasy game within the publishing industry.

But that’s all my news for now, no doubt I shall batter your peepholes with more news as it comes forward! And rest assured that I am deep into the second instalment of The Gentleman Bastard Sequence so there shall be a blog about that soon enough!

Until then, be well, be kind, and have fun!