Had a fun day out in Derby today, at the Alt. Fic convention. While it is on a smaller scale to the other UK cons, it nonetheless had a number of interesting things going on and there was a respectable turn-out of writing/publishing folk.
Upon arrival, I dumped my coat in the cloakroom and made straight for the Q&A session run by Christian Dunn, the Commissioning Editor for Solaris. Many of the questions asked were ones I've seen online many times, so the answers were familiar. Still, the atmosphere was nice and informal and it was good to hear the answers coming straight from the horse's mouth, as it were.
After that I went straight to the panel discussion about publishing that included genre agent extraordinaire, John Jarrold, and George Mann, Consultant Editor for Solaris. A lively debate, with plenty of insightful (and blunt advice) from Mr Jarrold. "Writing a good book isn't enough," he deadpanned. "It has to be brilliant." Judging by the mutterings of some audience members afterwards, his words had ruffled a few feathers. I personally thought they were spot-on.
Keen to hear more from John Jarrold, I popped along to his personal Q&A session later in the afternoon. Again, most of the questions were those you see on most writing forums (I have to admit I did kinda wonder whether any of the other people at the talk actually bothered to use such forums) but it was good to hear them coming from someone with such a knowledgeable background. John Jarrold's got a fine sense of humour too, so it was a fun session.
In between panels I managed to grab a bite to eat and chat with Mark and George from Solaris, which was a pleasure, as always.
So, a long day (not to mention costly) but a good one.
Cover art for Jeff Noon's A MAN OF SHADOWS
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