My very first author convention. I think it turned out alright!
So yeah! This is going to be a fun ramble of sorts. I was really nervous for this weekend, mainly for mental health reasons. I’m not good with people (The Friday night was my first night out in several years) but I found myself able to be myself so easily (Tough luck on that, authorly friends!)
I was looking forward to being a socially awkward fuck, but also to meet a ton of people. So, I got packed and ready (bought a new fancy suitcase for £4, go me) and I went down to Darlington to get picked up by this charming lad, Jamie Edmundson. He very graciously offered to give me a lift there and back, as long as I could get to Darlington. Felt like one of those mafia jobs.
We consumed a fair bit of junk food this weekend. The chicken didn’t stand a chance.
The drive down was long with a lot of traffic issues, I provided the road rage and telling drivers to fuck off so Jamie could keep focused on driving. Despite the delays, we had a good time travelling down, and we got on well which was what I wanted. Otherwise it would have been an awkward as hell 10-11 hours commute!
It also rained. A lot.
Welcome to the U.K, folks.
So we finally made it through to the Hilton Doubletree. I was staying there for the weekend, so off Jamie went to his nearby Travelodge (and fight the battle of trying to find a parking spot) I got checked in fine and went into my room.
It was a damn fine room.
So I got a change of clothes, drank a quick coffee (I was fucking flagging at this point! Damn CFS) and went down to meet everyone. Tom Clews was the first to greet me, awesome guy, and soon I met up with everyone else. I was nervous for perhaps 10 minutes, before I finally found my zone. That I think shows how comfortable an event Bristolcon is. Everyone was so friendly!
A drink with Rita Sloan, Tom Clews, Luke Scull and Phil Williams before food.
For the Friday night, a large group of us went out for food. There was an enjoyable moment of unity when I was struggling with the fatigue (The trip to the Spitfire BBQ was about a mile walk, and with CFS that gets quite painful for me to walk long distances), so I got offers either to half carry me there, or to carpool a Taxi. Fortunately, I was able to make the trip there and back.
Spitfire BBQ was an amazing place to eat. Great food, the staff were excellent and it was a good night all around. We got back to the hotel around half 11pm and I stayed up chatting for an hour before finally turning in for the night.
Saturday – Con Day!
The night kinda sucked. Chronic Fatigue has a weird thing that when it’s really hitting hard, you don’t have the energy to fall asleep, so I didn’t drop off until about 3am. Still, I woke up at 6am and managed a quick shower before going down to breakfast.
Food is fucking food, people.
The breakfast was great with a nice choice of options.
Anyway, it was finally time for the Bristolcon event! Workshops and panels all day and a lot of social meet and greets. I’m just going to post a little montage of photos I got with people!
Lee Conely, author of Ritual of Bone. Awesome guy!
A very tired-looking Gareth Powell. I think it was early in the morning and neither of us had much coffee yet!
Me, Timy Takács, Lee and Damon. I swear these photos either make me look like a serial killer or someone who enjoys his pies. Look at that gut!
Lee and Damon doing the British and Irish Community panel.
A large group of writer folk at their local habitat.
Discussed video game writing with these awesome people.
I managed to sneak some good photos during the weekend.
Huge props to Agnes Meszaros for taking so many quality photos during the weekend. Got a great one with me and Mark Lawrence. This might be the only photo where I don’t look like a serial killer.
Thanks to my potato camera this didn’t turn out as well as it could, but this is with the old The Thousand Scars I published during 2018. Hard work is in place to get it ready for its relaunch in 2020!
Courtesy of Agnes Meszaros with Mariëlle Ooms-Voges!
I attended a great workshop by Anna Stephens on worldbuilding, and my final event of the day was a panel on myhical creatures.
We got an amazing band playing for the night’s entertainment too!
Sadly by 10pm I was really flagging, so after farewells and hugs to pretty much everyone in the room, I retired for the night, but not before fighting with my suitcase for getting everything packed. It took time, but I managed it.
Sunday brought the end of the weekend. After another long journey on the road, I got back home around 6pm. This week has been one of recovery as I picked up the “Con-Lurgy”, but I had an amazing time. It felt good just meeting the author community, and I felt so at ease!
Great things I remember:
- The hotel was excellent with helpful staff all weekend.
- The company, too many to list as a callout as you were all fantastic.
- The workshops I went to were very good; one in particular being about evolution and how it should impact character/animal design. I learned a lot!
- The food was good all weekend.
- Anna Stephens accidentally heckling Steve Mchugh in the mytical creature panel!
I have a lot to do. The Thousand Scars got quite a lot of interest at the weekend, and despite me not feeling too confident right now, I’ll do what I can to get the book ready for a launch in 2020.
Hope you enjoyed my little ramble.