Last Night’s Book Launch!

BooksSometimes, you sit behind a table with a pen and it’s all terribly formal.

Cakeage!And then sometimes, you don’t actually get to sit down because you’re so busy, chatting, greeting old friends, putting names to faces to twitterhandles.

Sometimes, the energy generates itself and the tables are groaning under the weight of Krispy Kreme (thank you Stephen J Sweeney!), chilli chocolate cupcakes and gloriously sugary cinder toffee honeycomb (as we couldn’t have branded matches, it seemed like the next best thing)!

Sugar Rush!Sometimes, everybody just gets into the spirit of the evening and has a fantastic time – through that might have been fuelled by sugar.

Sometimes, the rather staid image of the traditional ‘book signing’ just goes straight out the window and people make a community all of their own.

Tees!With thanks to Titan Books and Lou Hellbaby, last night was awesome.


Signings and Cons and Things

ecko-burning-uk-cover-150pxSorting my own signing always feels ever-so-slightly odd – particularly this year as we’re SO busy with all the exciting authors arriving for World Fantasy Con. I managed to set up half a dozen events  before I realised I’d actually forgotten to set a date aside for myself…


Jojn me at the London Megastore, reading from and signing Ecko Burning on Thursday 17th October. There will be cakes and potentially other goodies  – I’ve been promised Krispy Kremes – plus I’m still trying to talk the company into letting me have wine. Whatever happens, there will be pubbage afterwards!

I’ll also be at WFC myself, nailed by my knees to the trading table as usual, plus taking part in the Titan Funfair on Saturday afternoon! (They’ve said something about giving me BB guns, but hey, who knows – they might come to their senses!)

Plus there will be a proper signing signing (if you see what I mean), as well.

Sadly, the one thing I am missing is BristolCon, but will be there in spirit and I hope it goes well. I’ll hopefully see most of you at WFC anyway!



Max Brooks Did Not Write This Blog Post

P1050317But he tells a mean anecdote, chats to everybody and is in equal parts charming, shameless, insightful and very funny. He also wields possibly the swiftest pen we’ve ever seen. (Look out Dave Gibbons, that’s your record he’s challenging!)

P1050323He’s happy to help out wherever, to judge best-dressed Zombie competitions, to take merciless Sharpie revenge on the film’s promotional poster, and to wield wit well-worthy of his father. Max’s presence left all of us for (un)dead.

PlottingMore than anything, perhaps more so than any other author we’ve met, he felt strongly the changes from book to film – the loss of control, the distance that becomes necessary. The movie is not what Max wrote – he can scribble on posters and tease the director about this openly – but the undeath of your own text must be a very strange feeling.

Nimba CreationsAlong for the day were also Tom and Siobhan from Nimba Creations, with a masterclass in the finest zombie make-up…

War Face…Tim from the Empire in Leicester Square, volunteering for latex fun…

DistractoGirl!…Jenni, the almost-winner of the Twitter contest…

IMG_1285…and Luke Smith who’s ten-minute alleyway transformation from living to undead earned him Zombie of the Day, and Nimba’s gloriously gruesome prize mask.

Street War ZPlus a final and SPECIAL thank you to Jamie for eyeball cupcakes, hammocks and survival fun…

WWZI’m never going ANYwhere without this bag!!

The SF Weekender

sci-fiweekender_506eaac9f294fTake a long drive via the scenic route, the rising slopes and rearing rocks of Snowdonia, the sheep in the road, the tumbledown stone cots and the villages on the edge of nowhere.

Take a holiday caravan with a choice of old VHS tapes. Take giant deckchairs and cawing rooks and strange chainsaw-carved creatures that looked like something out of Spirited Away. Something waiting.

IMG_1036Take twelve-hour days on our feet, selling copies of Avengers Vs. X-Men and Assassin’s Creed cosplay stealth blades (so was there that game of Dancefloor Hitman in the end?). Take many friends, old and new; take a very different kind of stock, and a very different kind of fan.


Take a plethora of authors at the Forbidden Planet table. Take notes on how appearing on a panel can affect a subsequent signing. Take nineteen copies of Ecko signed and sold – and take an interesting lesson in authordom from, at various points, David Moody, Stacia Kane and Peter V Brett. Take time to wonder: just how much of an author’s persona is donned?

IMG_1021Take costumes (of course) – take a cardboard Blood Angel and five fans dressed as a game of Pac-Man. Take every kind cleavage, every pattern of waistcoat, every steampunk cog and goggle; take every lightsaber, every sword and bow and zap-gun. Take every plastic and pointy ear.

Take a breath, and go outside.

P1050250And finally, take a walk in the early morning, down to a beautiful little beach and great shadows of mountains – take a moment of tranquillity that makes the high energy madness of the Con all wonderfully surreal.

And take a consensus?

A subtly different event – very much a con for cosplayers. In some ways, it felt more like Expo than EasterCon. The facilities were better than previous years and the business was very good, but perhaps a little bit warmer, next year?


Danacea in 3D…

Turning out my archive today has thrown all sorts of wackiness into the light – early signings with Neil Gaiman and Christopher Lee, pictures from the launch of the Megastore in 2003, old magazine adverts with – erm – large masculine appendages being carried in wheelbarrows (no, I’m not kidding).

It’s also thrown this – my 3D headscan done by Karl Meyer and Gentle Giant Studios using the equipment normally used to scan actors for their flawless toy sculpts.

Whether or not they can spell my name correctly (and whether or not they were ever going to make a toy out of me!) kind of doesn’t matter – this is my own, very personal piece of toy-crafting history.

I’ll post some of the other fun stuff tomorrow. But I’m very pleased to have found this!