Thursday, 8 October 2009

FantasyCon 2009

It came and it went and it was a blast! Well over 300 people, including guests such as Brian Clemens (him of Avengers and the like), Gail Z Martin (lovely American lady writer), Sebastian Peake (son of Meryn 'Gormenghast' Peake), Jasper Fforde (another lovely writer). Not forgetting the hilarious magician-turned-author John 'Talking Toaster' Lenehan, who totally charmed my teenage daughter.

Fabulous weekend. A year of very hard work but it all paid off with a smooth and successful weekend. And that's it. Never again. No more. I've done 10 of them over the years and I publicly declare now that I am retiring!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Of Crows and Men

So when I'm not writing or working, this is the kind of thing I get up to...

This is life in the wilds of Cheshire. OK, you have to be a bloke to be a crow and it's invitation-only, but hey - I was Crow Control this year (after being car-park nazi - oh, the power...)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

FantasyCon Banquet

Just confirmed the banquet for this year's convention. Still not sure if it will be on the Saturday like last year, or back to the old Sunday slot, but keep checking the FantasyCon and BFS websites for more information. Special diets can be catered for – just let us know when booking your banquet ticket.

FantasyCon Banquet Menu
Roll and Butter
Melon and Grape Cocktail with Fruit Coulis
Tomato and Basil Homemade Soup
Chicken Stuffed with Sage and Onion with a Red Wine Sauce
New Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables
Vegetarian: Stuffed Roast Pepper with Zucchini, Aubergine, Red Onions & Cous Cous
and finished with a Tomato and Herb Sauce (must be booked in advance)
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Fruit Forest Cheesecake
Coffee and Mints
Including 2 glasses of Hawkes Peak Red or White Californian Wine
Fresh Orange Juice

Monday, 16 March 2009

Alchemy Writers ...

... have now got their own blog. Not much on there as yet, but we're working on it.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

FantasyCon 2009

FantasyCon Guests of Honour this year are now confirmed as: author Jasper Fforde, Brian Clemens (he of The Avengers, The Professionals and many other 60s and 70s shows we hate to admit we loved...) and American fantasy writer Gail Z Martin. Tickets are selling fast so book quick to reserve your place!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Faery Tales

Those of you who know me might be surprised to know that I’m quite into faeries. That’s faeries, not fairies – the latter being the cute winged creatures who may or may not live at the bottom of the garden, and the former being connected with Celtic mythology who may or may not be the lost race of the Tuatha De Danaan. Faeries have their own agenda, which doesn’t always complement our own.

The best faery fiction I’ve read must include Raymond Feist’s Faery Tale. Classic stuff, closely followed by Tom Deitz’s series set in Georgia, USA which dips into just about every mythos going. Then there are Mercedes Lackey’s urban faeries who ride fast cars for fun and live alongside humans in sometimes interesting relationships!

I was sent a copy of Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely a couple of years ago. Not sure if this is YA fantasy or not, but who cares? Awesome stuff. American urban faeries again – the yanks do this stuff so well. Why has nobody done faeries on the London underground yet? (makes mental note to get writing …) Anyway, I also got sent a review copy of the third in the trilogy Fragile Eternity a few weeks ago. Not having read the one in the middle, Ink Exchange, I asked the lovely Sam White at HarperCollins if I could have a copy, which duly arrived a few days later.

Wicked Lovely follows the story of Aislinn, falling in love for the first time with Seth. But Aislinn’s no ordinary teenager – she can see faeries. Everywhere. And they’re mostly a nasty bunch too, hanging around the streets and clubs – tripping people up, pulling out their hair. Now faeries can normally only be seen if they choose to be, or put on a human glamour and Aislinn’s spent her whole life trying not be noticed by them. And how do you not notice the most gorgeous faery of them all, especially when he wants to date you and just happens to be the Summer King? Aislinn’s not interested – her future is with Seth – but the Summer King wants her for his Queen and he won’t take no for an answer …

I loved this novel. Read it when I first got it and read it again recently as part of the trilogy. Like I said, I’m sure this was sent to me under the guise of Young Adult fiction, but it would appeal to anyone who likes the dark-and-dangerous side of faeries. Possibly pure escapism, but can you really be sure? Remember that dark charismatic stranger who held your eye contact on the underground this morning for just a fraction of a second longer than was decent? Remember what he was wearing? No, I didn’t think you would. But you may see him again tomorrow and the next day. He may speak to you in a voice with no trace of an accent and yet he won’t sound quite English. Read Wicked Lovely and you just may survive the encounter, but whatever you do, don’t agree to meet him for a drink. Because you can never really be sure, can you?

Saturday, 10 January 2009

FantasyCon 2009

FantasyCon 2009 is go! Just returned contract to Britannia Hotel in Nottingham and we're back there for a 4th year in September. The last Con I ran was in 2006 and we had Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker *and* Raymond Feist as guests - not sure we can top that this year, but it's early days!

Web site is still not up and running, so if you want a registration form, you'll have to email me and I'll email one straight back. Don't wait too long - you know you want to come and prices go up at the end of March ...