I am in my PJs after another amazing time at this incredible, intimate, utterly friendly and wonderful convention.
BristolCon (and its fringe events) is a gorgeous 1 day convention. Essentially, it is all about supporting local talent, whether it’s writing, art or music. (Although local in this case now extends to Wales and up North). It’s fabulously friendly, there’s no cliques as you can sometimes get at bigger conventions, and no competition. Everyone is there to support and share and just enjoy SF&F.
This year, I had to get there by coach but Bristol is a cool city and fun to walk through. I arrived just before 10 and well before the panel I was on.
This year I got to sit on a panel on Infodumping with Peter Newman, Dyrk Ashton, Jacey Bedford and moderated by Juliet E McKenna, which was super-exciting because these are BIG names and I got to sit with them and talk with them about writing stuff! I always get really nervous before a panel but I just did me, I made people laugh and I held my own with some really intelligent people, whose work I love.
I did a reading from book 2 afterwards, which seemed to be well received (people laughed when they were supposed to, and clapped loudly).
I also signed two copies of ‘Cruelty’, sold to people who’d been in the panel/reading. That never gets old. Never. Ever. I love it. I got to meet two amazing people, who were intrigued by what I had put out there and wanted to read more. It made my day. I couldn’t stop grinning. Especially as they both said I was engaging and funny and interesting.
What added to my personal joy was that a third person wanted the book but we’d run out of copies. Hopefully, they’ll buy from Amazon.
Now, those aren’t huge numbers but it is a big deal to an author in a small press. And it wasn’t just me who sold today; my fellow Grimmies did well too.
I also got to touch the BFS trophy today as well! We won Best Small Press this year, and we took every opportunity to mention it. Well, we wouldn’t we? We work hard and it has paid off, big time. We create amazing fiction and hopefully, the award will help us get the recognition Grimbold deserves.
I also attended the Map making panel, which the lush Sophie E Tallis moderated, and which gave me lots of ideas for Book 3. After that, I listened to Joel Cornah reading an extract from one of his books. I loved every moment and have added it to my TBR pile (which is getting ever bigger.)
The best part of BristolCon (any Con for that matter) is seeing people, meeting new people and catching up with friends. I chatted with Steven Poore, and Will Macmillian-Jones, caught up with Joanne Hall, Ali Sims, saw Roz Clarke briefly but got a lush Roz hug, bought art from Sophie, met Joel’s talented brother Josh (his art is stunning and he draws the Grim and Bold web comic), chatted with the incredible Anna Spark Smith, author of ‘Court of Broken Knives’, and met so many lovely people whose names escape me, apart from the lovely Philip Ridgers (who hadn’t been to a Con before) and Naomi Scott (with whom Sophie and I chatted with about Native American mythology and who asked me a cracking question in my panel). Oh, and I also met the lovely official photographer, Thomas David Parker who does awesome work. Check out his Instagram.
I’ve had a lovely day and I can’t to wait to do it all again for BristolCon10
See you there next year?
Love Ellen. Xx