Well then, it’s time for a write up of the World Fantasy Convention.
I think it’s important to note at this point that this was my first convention, world or otherwise, that is specifically centered around fantasy, and definitely my first coming at it with a professional interest in the industry and genre.
So I’m not really sure what I was expecting but boy howdy was I not disappointed!
It was a fantastic weekend (and I’m sure I bored my family when I got home with tales of panels and meeting new people), the panels were interesting, everyone was friendly and there was some really great other events on too. All of the publisher’s parties were great fun and it was just astounding to be in the same room with so many important and fantastic people! I won’t lie to you there was some slight hyperventilation to start with (hmm, perhaps from this point forward I’ll try to sound less like a fan-girl).
I feel like there’s almost too much to talk about! And regretfully I didn’t take any pictures (a couple of Patrick Rothfuss’ reading but they’re super blurry), well apart from all the books that had to be hauled homeward!
The panels were all very interesting, ranging from whether women can write legitimate martial fantasy (spoiler alert: they definitely can), how to follow up writing with that pesky second book, world building, short story writing and everything in between! So I’ve come out of the convention with loads of ideas and there was even a panel on editing and putting together a short story anthology (so keep your eyes peeled for some news like that next year…), and what it’s like being a small independent press.
The art dealers room I found very cool, especially as I seem to have an unusual fascination and love of how books are designed and the end product. So there was much snooping around the artist room to see what cover art there was an even some snooping with covers for something I’m now thinking about (see above bracketed hints).
That’s also one of the reasons that I’m so excited with the Bragelonne sample book with translated excerpts of some of their fantasy works. I always find that the French edition covers that I’ve found to be some of the most exquisite of those on the market and really bring elements of the story to life before you’ve even picked up the book.
In a lot of ways, for me, it was an eye-opener for some unsung aspects of the publishing industry, like the short stories, the anthology editors and the agents. I’ve come into contact with some of these in my short time in the publishing industry but it was also really nice to see them explored in such an accessible and excellent manner.
Everyone was really friendly and it was quite a quest if you wanted to find someone that wasn’t smiling (not that I did, mind you)!
On a personal note I was thoroughly ecstatic to see Mr Patrick Rothfuss do a reading ( I’m going again to the Forbidden Planet one in London) and it was a phenomenal reading. Mr Rothfuss said he wasn’t sure if it worked well if it was read out, but I think my goosebumps can attest that it works just fine!
And listening to the authors and the panels on various aspects of writing really helps you appreciate so much more the dedication, effort and skill that goes into a truly wonderful piece of writing.
So that’s all I’ve got to say on the subject for now, no doubt I shall think of more later on and curse myself for not telling you about it! But, thank you for stopping by everyone, and I’m sure you can tell that from all the exclamation marks how excited I was/am by the convention!