New Beginnings

One dice fumbles, another rolls a hit…

And this dice brings me a brand new marketing position at Handiwork Games, a company offering a gleeful assortment of tabletop goodies, including games, mats, maps, cards, dice and dragons. The last one not literally.

Beowulf, Age of Heroes

It’s step away from FP, honing my focus to a much more specialist product range. And Handiwork’s stuff is gorgeous, giving me the chance to flex my marketing and social media muscles for something really pretty, and in an arena I know well. Seriously, this is the true heart of my personal geek journey, the place where I grew up – from my Uni days in the Eighties, all the way through those long, long years of CyberPunk and D&D, then White Wolf, right the way up to our current #ChickenCormyr campaign…

Jon Hodgson Map Tiles

With thanks to Andrew Girdwood of GeekNative and Handiwork’s Jon Hodgson for the opportunity, I’m looking forward to new horizons!

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Redundant

As you may have seen, after seventeen years at Forbidden Planet, the company has made me redundant.

It’s completely knocked the wind out of me, bowled me absolutely flat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been done by the book – they’ve been two weeks considering my position, my length of service, my marketing skill base and all of the things – but, at the end of the day, my role no longer exists. So there we are.

It could be one hell of a lot worse – I have a solid redundancy package and no need to immediately panic – but seventeen years is one HELL of a long time. After that long, as some of you have already commented, it isn’t ‘just a job’ any more. I was there at the launch of the London Megastore, and of forbiddenplanet.com. I built the company’s social media Identity from the ground up (though the Insta-genius, isn’t me, sadly!). I’ve run the company blog and its client advertising locations. And I’ve set up and run hundreds, probably thousands, of store events. Big ones, little ones, group ones, solo ones, authors, artists, creators, directors, celebrities, personalities, film crews… it’s all been one hell of a ride. And even those events that I didn’t or couldn’t attend, I was always there in the wings, making them happen.

When you’re a single parent, you don’t get much of a social life. And those events, plus the dozens of conventions where you’ve seen me at the FP stall… they’ve always made up for that. They’ve been my outlet, my family, my community. And giving that up, I think will be the single hardest thing about all of this.

And my son – he’s known the company since before he was born. When he was a four-month bump, he attended a signing with Pegg and Frost, who were trying to make name my unborn child ‘Simon Nick’ or ‘Nick Simon’. He’s met his greatest YouTube and Doctor Who heroes, got to share MCM and all the big stuff… He’s absolutely devastated, bless him.

Now, there are advantages, obviously. Not commuting anymore is going to be a huge relief – trying to endlessly spin the plates of job and events and commute and child and school and publishers’ deadlines has all been incredibly stressful. (I hadn’t realised quite how much until lockdown started). I’m looking forward to getting some serious writing done (though I will have to find other work, obviously), and to not being so utterly frantic.

But – and forgive the marketing speak – I’ve been Brand champion for FP for a very long time. It’s a company that represents everything I’ve been passionate about, all my life. Being there to watching it grow, to watch it crest and ride that huge wave that’s brought geekdom into the mainstream, being a part of that wave… that’s been amazing.

I know this isn’t their fault. It’s only Covid, and it’s only numbers, and my redundancy is fair, and they’ve been nothing but supportive through the whole process…

But right now, I feel kinda lost.

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