Sci-Fi Weekender

Well that was good. Actually, that was more than good. That was a bloody brilliant weekend.

Wayne and friends

Wayne meets a couple of friends (fans?)

Wayne Simmons and I often spend a lot of time chatting about what makes an event a success. It’s different for everyone, I guess, but for me it’s all about engaging with people. It’s good to meet other writers, publishers and media folks, but it’s absolutely incredible when you get the chance to meet with people who’ve either read your books or want to. At this years Sci-Fi Weekender I got to hang out with 3,500 fellow geeks, and I loved it.

Highlights? Talking horror and writing with a constant stream of very cool people. Selling loads of books. Meeting other authors including Hugh Howey (Wool) – an incredibly nice guy – and Sean Jeffery (Deadfall) at long last. Catching up with Sean Page (Ministry of Zombies head honcho). Sitting on panels with a host of folks including Hugh, Wayne, Peter Brett, Simon Clarke, Sam Stone, Steve Lockley and many others (even though we couldn’t hear the audience or each other most the time). Experiencing the majesty of MANBORG with Wayne, JD Gillam, David VG Davis, Robin and Stephen Pierce, Gary Main and Roy Young… The list goes on. Here are a few photos:

The It's the End! panel with (l-r) Peter Brett, Emma Newman, Hugh Howey, Gareth Powell and me

The It’s the End! panel with (l-r) Peter Brett, Emma Newman, Hugh Howey, Gareth Powell and me (photo: Gary Main)

Writing Horror panel with (l-r) Simon Clark, Christopher Brookmyre, me, Gordon Roxborough, Theresa Derwin, Wayne and Steve Lockley (photo: Gary Main)

Writing Horror panel with (l-r) Simon Clark, Christopher Brookmyre, me, Gordon Roxborough, Theresa Derwin, Wayne and Steve Lockley (photo: Gary Main)

Wayne, Gary, Roy and me

Wayne, Gary, Roy and me

Wayne, Shaun Jeffrey and me

Wayne, Shaun Jeffrey and me

Huge thanks to everyone involved in organising the Weekender, and to all those who came along to the event. And if you’ve not come across the mighty MANBORG yet, watch this…

Events round-up

I’ve been a guest at a couple of cracking events over the last few weeks. Here’s a brief recap.

On Friday 22nd June, I appeared alongside Joseph D’Lacey, Simon Bestwick and host Jasper Bark in the Writers’ Room at the University of Warwick to officially launch the This is Horror chapbook series. As you know, I was honoured to be asked to write the first chapbook, and Joe & Me has been exceptionally well received. We’ve had very positive reviews from Rue Morgue, Dread Central, Snakebite Horror, the British Fantasy Society, Shadowlocked, and more. The evening was a lot of fun, with readings from the three of us, followed by a Q&A session. The picture below was lifted without permission from fellow author Adam Millard (thanks Adam!), and shows (from left to right), myself (in my Fix the Chapel shirt, please note!), Jasper, Simon and Joseph.

To get hold of a copy of Joe & Me (and you’ll need to be quick as they’re very limited and disappearing fast…) visit www.thisishorror.co.uk.

On Sunday 8th July I was at the Shock and Gore horror festival at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham – a hometown event for once! After a reading and Q&A alongside Sam Stone and John L Probert – again hosted by the inimitable Jasper Bark – I had the privilege of introducing a screening of Tod Browning’s 1932 classic, FREAKS.

Have you seen FREAKS? If not, can I recommend that you do. For a film that’s eighty years old and barely sixty-five minutes long, it still packs a hell of a punch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zf-ah9ZrWM

Thanks to everyone involved in these events – Michael Wilson and the This is Horror team; David Baldwin and all at the Electric; Simon, Joseph, Sam, John and, of course, Jasper; and everyone who came along to watch/listen/contribute.

Details of another new horror event coming later today…

Shock and Gore Festival

I’m really excited to confirm that I’ll be at the SHOCK AND GORE horror festival at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham next month. Running from 6th to 8th July, a host of great films will be screened from classics such as VIDEODROME and MARTIN, through to new movies such as RED LIGHTS and DETENTION. I’ll be taking part in a literary session at 6pm on Sunday with Conrad Williams, Sam Stone and Jasper Bark, after which I have the privilege of introducing a screening of Tod Browning’s still powerful 1932 film, FREAKS.

For more information, click here to visit the festival site.