4/23/2003

Busy week. Started on Friday.

Friday, most of gsfwc (glasgow science fiction writer's circle) had split for Seacon, while I stayed behind to help my girlfriend celebrate her birthday. This went quite well, mainly constituting being in a bar for most of the evening with friends before I, as arranged, headed home earlier to get ready for the next morning.

Left at half ten on Saturday morning, somewhat tired, arrived after about three changes at Hinckley completely shattered. Wandered around the con for a bit feeling dazed, found most of everyone before somebody told me I'd be able to find my editor(s) at a party being run on behalf of Earthlight, who publish Mike Cobley's Shadowkings books (this being a guy I used to share a flat with). Found Lavery and John Jarrold, and a couple of hours later found myself having dinner with both of them, another editor called Stef, and several other authors including Freda Warrington, Juliet Marillier, Justina Robson, Justina's husband and, I suspect, one or two other people I was too zonked to either remember or know who they were. I was, of course, my usual garrulous self; I find that other writers tend to be on the quiet side which results in me, usually, trying to fill the vacuum, a reaction born perhaps out of a certain nervousness. I was there, after all, with some writers who are in some cases very well known indeed. I chatted also to Justina at the Earthlight party, and only realised after a few minutes that the reason she wasn't saying anything was she was hoarse and could barely speak ...

The convention was, after all, like most conventions. To be honest, if it wasn't for making a serious sale, I probably wouldn't really go to conventions any more, primarily because most of the time when I'm at them, I spend my time sitting in a bar drinking with exactly the same people I drink with when I'm at home in Glasgow, except there I don't have to book a hotel, travel for hours, etc, etc. But it does make a difference when you become an author who's expecting to get paid several thousand pounds. You feel you should be there; that it's the professional thing to do. And I enjoyed myself. Had a good chat with Andrew Wilson, the sf reviewer for the Scotsman newspaper who I've previously met on several occasions, who had some good ideas about publicising both myself and the book nearer the publication date.

Anyway, the con passed in a bit of a blur, and at the most I saw maybe one or two panels, spending the rest of the time sitting in the bar. Ian Watson is a ridiculously funny man. You have to understand, for most of the weekend I was almost literally staggeringly knackered. I won't even describe the state I was in by the time monday morning rolled around.

Here's the deal. I was about ready to give up going to cons because I wasn't particularly enjoying them any more. Now ... things are different. I feel if I don't go, people might not know who I am, and now, unsurprisingly, I very much want them to know who I am. So I guess that's me back to conventions, eh?
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