FantasyCon here I come

I’m off to FantasyCon in Brighton on Friday morning. My first ever genre convention, and I’m not entirely sure what to expect. I never felt moved to go to them as a reader; I never really understood how my enjoyment of fantastic fiction was going to be increased by propping up the bar next to a costumed stormtrooper. Or an orc. One of the interesting things about becoming a writer, though, is that you find yourself having a different, and often more democratic, perspective on things. Could I, in my wildest dreams, dare to hope that one day I might go to a convention where fans dress up as characters I created? It’s very, very, very unlikely – I’ve got a better chance of being hit by lightning in this unseasonably stormy September weather – but all of a sudden it seems less a questionable eccentricity and more like the ultimate accolade.

Plus there are the educational and community aspects. I don’t feel like I’ve really found my feet yet – this whole first-book-about-to-be-published, struggling-through-the-second-book, is a weird experience. It’s so different to my former life. It seems to be going well, but how can you tell? What do you compare it to? I don’t know anybody else who does this for a living. I don’t even know if I do it for a living, or if it’s just a strange, fortuitous little bubble of time, in which I get to live my fantasy life of being a writer for a few months, maybe a year or two, before the money runs out and the books don’t sell well and I have to go back to having a proper, full-time job. Back in the real world.

So roll on FantasyCon. There’ll be pundits and publishers, bloggers and fans. But I’m particularly looking forward to meeting other writers – both published and aspiring, those who can do it for a living and those who do it purely for love. With any luck I’ll get some tips and tricks for dealing with the ups and downs, the disappointments and reversals (and – who knows? – maybe even the successes) to come. I want to know if I’m the only one finding their second novel problematic and intimidating in a way the first one never was. If I’m alone in swinging from the elation of a perfect paragraph at noon to the despair of garbled dialogue at midnight. In short, I’m hoping for the reassurance, the camaraderie, of like minds.

And maybe even an orc or two.

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GEMSIGNS cover blurb

My publisher asked if I wanted to have a crack at the jacket copy for Gemsigns. This is, of course, hugely important; how many of us decide to buy a book – or not – by picking up a likely-looking volume, flipping it over and reading the back? (Or the inside flap of the jacket if it’s a hardcover.) You’d think it  wouldn’t be too difficult, but it turns out that 2-3 short, punchy paragraphs that capture the essence of the story without giving too much away, that are enticing enough to hook a prospective reader, are not simple to construct at all. I’ve read my latest draft so many times now it’s a blur. So this is an attempt to crowdsource opinion. Would you buy this book?

Image

Humanity stands on the brink. Again.

Surviving the Syndrome meant genetically altering every person on the planet. But norms and gems are different. Gems may have the superpowers that once made them valuable commodities, but they also have more than their fair share of the disabled, the violent and the psychotic. And a legacy of servitude, to which they will not return.

When the gem Gaela finds an abandoned child with an unregistered ability, events are set in motion that will drag every element of her fractured world into conflict: the vicious intrigues of the gemtech that created her, the holy war of the godgangs, and the fears and prejudices of the norm majority. Ruthless executive Zavcka Klist will do whatever it takes to retrieve little Gabriel. Deformed, unaccountably formidable leader Aryel Morningstar is hiding secrets of her own. Only norm scientist Dr Eli Walker can be trusted to navigate this treacherous terrain, in a desperate search for the truth.

Likes and/or comments much appreciated!

  • I love stories.
    My new novel, Sacred, is all about them. Publication info will be posted as soon as I have it.

    In the meantime check out Gemsigns, Binary and Regeneration, available wherever good books are sold.

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    REGENERATION

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    REGENERATION

    The 3rd Book of the ®Evolution

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    BINARY

    The 2nd Book of the ®Evolution

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    GEMSIGNS

    The 1st Book of the ®Evolution

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