I didn't die. I didn't die of bus germs. The bus driver who needed to squint to see my ticket didn't crash. I found the venue.
It was brilliant! Loved it. Made more money than I spent, got to sit on two panels, with Adam Millard, David Moody, Andrew Hook, Paul Huggins and more. Met some lovely people, some for the first time and some again. I sometimes forget it can be nice outside the shed, too.
Got a copy of Black Static from Andrew for a quid, and signed copies of books from Adam, David, Paul and Iain McKinnon. Here are the goodies:
'Larry' and 'Straight to You' are gorgeous books - nice to hold. I didn't smell them. Yet.
First time I went to Horror in the East I didn't talk to anyone, really, but Rich Hawkins and Adam Millard. Rich Hawkins was there today, and damn nice to see him. This year, still shitting myself, I went and spoke to everyone, figuring embarrassment probably isn't terminal. And guess what? They're all really, really nice people. David Moody in particular was great - a real gentleman and very supportive of me, first time out of my box.
Didn't get to hide, either. I was late, and got stuck on a panel five minutes after arriving. A good thing - if I'd had time to think it through, I might have balked. But I did it. Then I did another later on in the day. And it was fun...panels should be terrifying, but neither was - it's more like sitting down for a chat about writing/horror etc with like-minded people. It wasn't awful at all.
Jo Wilde and Emma Bunn (and, it seemed, Emma's entire family) looked after all of us a treat - gave us tea, cakes...and all for the love of it. They were wonderful, and Henry, who hosted the panels, was amazing. Welcoming, supportive, and friendly. It's not the biggest convention, but it's certainly the friendliest, and there's an awful lot to be said for that. Thanks Jo and Emma.
And last, but certainly not least, Jen, the horror make-up artist, who did this:
...then left to go do face painting for a kids' party. Good work :)
Love you! x
And now, for my treat to myself from today's earnings...