Friday, 7 November 2014

Autumn: Horror in the East - Part One

Evening. Thought I'd write a quick post in case I don't make it back tomorrow. About conventions, getting out and about, and that *you* aren't the only one that shits a brick at the thought of being out there, in a writer.

I've been a writer for a couple of years. You know, not a writer like the one I used to be, where people would ask what I do and I'd shuffle my feet and mutter 'iwritestories', then go home and hit myself with a whisk for being presumptuous.

But I'm terrified of conventions, public readings, panels. I think some people actually enjoy this stuff. I'm simply not good at it. I went to Cardiff Comic Con, did a signing for The Estate, and the first year of Horror in the East. In between times, I've wussed out of Scardiff twice, and Horror in the East once, and completely fucked up getting to the Fantasy Convention in York.

I don't travel well, which doesn't help. I'm also basically a hermit. I'm a writer. I'm not a famous writer. I haven't won the Booker T prize, or T.J. Hooker, or anything to do with William Shatner. Or, erm, jazz.

Anyway, this week, I spent all week sitting in my shed, where I live, thinking of excuses to get out of tomorrow's convention. Broken leg, dead relative, alien abduction...anything.

But then I looked at the books I have on my shelf. Just contributor's copies. Anthologies, magazines, periodicals, novellas, novels. Just the ones I have doubles of...and there are tons. I picked them up, put them in a big bag. It's really, really heavy. I'm going to carry it to the bus, sit on the bus all the way to Lowestoft in Suffolk, then from the bus station to the Marina. I'm going to plonk them on a table. If I sell a couple, great. If not, I'm not going to cry about it. Because I'm not a salesman. But, it turns out, I've got about thirty books in my bag. I wrote them.

I think the other guys, the ones who are good at this and do conventions on a regular basis, will have banners, book marks, giveaways. Signs with prices on, gadgets to take card payments. I've been to these things before on Crowded Quarantine Publications' ticket, with Adam Millard. He's good at this stuff. Iain McKinnon gave me a poster first year at Autumn. He's got a knack for this stuff. I've seen Wayne Simmons and not said hello, because I'm nervous. I watched Conrad Williams on a panel, thinking 'he wrote 'One'...I shan't say hello...' because I'm nervous.

So those writers have got fancy stuff, and confidence, too. I haven't got any of that. But I don't care, because I'm going. I'm really going.

I'm also going to be wearing a nappy, in case I really do shit myself.

Part Two tomorrow or Sunday, with they have in the future. Where people don't live in sheds.

Love you x

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