A lot of amazing things happened last weekend. I headed down to Brighton for World Fantasy Con on Friday, missed the whole day (thank you, M25 traffic) and arrived windswept and bedraggled at the Hilton Hotel where the con was being held just in time for evening drinks with the wonderful Girl Friday - a.k.a. author Tatum Flynn:
...and the amazing Marieke Nijkamp, who I met for the first time after tweeting and exchanging manuscripts with her over the past couple of years. She's as lovely in person as she is online.
Saturday was my full day at the con, and it started with registration - and a whole heap of free books! THIS is how to do swag, in case you were wondering:
The first panel I went to was focused on YA, and featured Susan Cooper, Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, Will Hill and Holly Black. I know - that's like writing royalty, right?? Here's a photo I sneakily took of the panel. Yes, I'm hating on the random stander-upper pretty hard.
Next up, I saw Neil Gaiman talking with Susan Cooper, who received a lifetime achievement award at the con. I also got a slightly better picture!
I went to 4 author readings in the afternoon - the first was Holly Black, reading from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Her reading was amazing, and I am definitely going to be getting a copy to read the rest!
Next up were Amy McCulloch and Laura Lam, in a surprise-ninja-joint reading session. Amy read from Oathbreaker's Shadow, and Laura read from Pantomime. Finally, I heard Heather Graham reading from her latest novel, Let the Dead Sleep, and was so thrilled when she actually gave me the copy she was reading from!
It was fantastic getting an insight into author readings as I've never been to one before.
After that, I went and took a look around the art displays with Girl Friday (and got a couple of free drinks - yay!), then I snagged a few more freebies on my way out - including an awesome mug to commemorate my WFC adventure (in case you didn't know, I'm a Mug Event Commemorator) and cruised the book stalls.
With the day's panels and events over, I went out for a fantastic meal with my awesome agent, Molly Ker Hawn, and my husband. We ate shark. Yes, we're hardcore.
When it was time to leave Brighton on Sunday, I couldn't help wishing I'd booked to stay longer so I could explore Brighton itself.
Then again, now I have another reason to go back!