Sunday, 25 October 2015

What’s in a Muppet?!


I know tickets are like gold dust, but if anyone ever asks if you want to go to the New York Comic Con, say yes. Don’t think about it, just say yes.
The event at New York’s Javits Center earlier this month was awesome. That’s the only word for it. To go all that way and set up a table as an indie British writer was intimidating to say the least. As it was, the whole weekend of NYCC was amazing. We were made to feel welcome by everyone involved, the atmosphere over all four days was awe inspiring and Manhattan’s attitude to the comic con in its midst was so cool.
We met some brilliant people – including a Muppet (!), Bruce Connelly aka Barkley from Sesame Street, who had some amazing stories to tell – and thank you so much to everyone who called by for a chat, to give some new books a chance and to chill out for a few moments in the small press area, a tiny oasis of relative calm in the mega-busy, really well organised awesome chaos of the event.
I think the one aspect that made it stand out was that everyone wanted to be there and everyone wanted it to be awesome so it was. The set-up staff at the venue were great. We had great neighbours in our aisle and it was lovely to see Gary Erskine, our neighbor from the first SciFi Scarbs, all the way out there. Going to and from the event out in the streets of Manhattan was fun (walking from our hotel, The New Yorker – which was great, took us past Nero Wolfe’s house! How cool is that?). All weekend, the queues for tickets just to join the queues for the show-exclusive Funco bobbleheads were so bizarre but everyone waited patiently. The cosplay was amazing and the big sign that proclaimed the NYCC philosophy for everyone to “be nice, be cool, and be kind to each other” was respected throughout.
Every minute of NYCC was great. It was an incredible event and I feel very privileged to have been a part of it. Thank you to everyone who helped me get there and thank you to everyone there who made the whole week so awesome.

Friday, 28 August 2015

What’s with the weather?


It was Elmore Leonard who said, “Never open a book with weather.” It’s great advice, as are his other nine rules of writing. You want people shooting at you, not spots of rain. But I do find that weather plays a significant part in my writing, in the process, in setting my scenes and in upsetting my characters.
I love being out in all weathers. I love summer days when the sky is blue and the breeze is balmy. I love thunderstorms. I love walking in torrential rain. I don’t like being cold but as the old saying goes, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing (been caught out there a few times).
As I’ve said before, I love knowing what my guys like and don’t like. NG hates the cold. LC hates being too hot. Hil just hates being outside. (One thing I love most is knowing all the reasons why…)
My universe isn’t all shiny and sparkly clean. My guys get muddy when it rains. Their kit doesn’t work in the dirt. Their fingers get cold. I love throwing them into the extremes of what they have trouble dealing with and seeing how they respond.
But, and this is the thing, when the sun is shining, the beer’s cold and the days are long, it can be hard sometimes to get into those really dark places. However, it has been a good summer of amazing weather from one extreme to the other so that’s all been cool as far as the inspiration, the planning and the plotting. As far as the writing goes, it’s all lining up nicely and heading towards the dark times just as the dark nights start to draw back in.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Out and about in 2015/16


It’s a bit of a weird time at the moment. I’m juggling writing and gallivanting, not to mention munchkins, home and work. Apart from normal life (ha, normal!?), I’m caught between wanting to be out and about at comic cons every weekend, talking to people, meeting people and having fun, and needing to sit under a blanket, giving all my little guys a hard time and getting on with book five.
I know it was like this last year too and book four didn’t really take off until the autumn so I’m going to go with the flow and enjoy the sunshine. Someone did ask me if book five would be out this summer in time for their hols, but I’m afraid it takes longer than that! I’m aiming for Scifi Scarbs again next year for the next book. I won’t say any more about it as I’ve been accused of giving away spoilers, but as usual there’s lots of rum involved, copious amounts of Haribo and loud Linkin Park.
If you’re going to any comic cons this year, here are the ones I’m booked into so far – do come along and say hello!

30th/31st May, Event City

17th/18th/19th July, Olympia

15th/16th August, Motorpoint Arena

15th November, Holiday Inn

9th/10th April 2016, The Spa