Category Archives: Conventions

Bristolcon 2017

For those of you who don't know Bristolcon is a small but perfectly formed SFF convention that is always warm, smoothly run, and is so civilised it has free tea and coffee and water available for everyone all day! It's on Saturday the 28th October, and if you're in the area, it's well worth a look.

Here's what I'm doing :

9.30 (The Brickout* room)
My First Con. 
New to conventions? Theo Graham and I are on hand to answer questions, give advice and generally help you get the most out of your day.

11.00 (Room 1)
Guest of honour interview – Jen Williams. Come join me in celebrating the awesomeness that is Jen. This is going to be an interactive session where the audience will get the chance to show how much they know about the GoH. Swearing likely.

12.00 (Room 2)
She Infodumped Me
Tabletop roleplayers complain about games which have pages and pages of lore and history, aka: several centuries of stuff happened, which you and the other characters weren’t involved with. How do authors and game designers balance creating a complex realistic world with the need to avoid information overload in the reader?

Juliet E McKenna (M), Jacey Bedford, Peter Newman, Ellen Crosháin, Dyrk Ashton

2.00 (Snug)
Getting Unstuck Workshop
Getting Unstuck: A workshop for any writers who are stuck with a project. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or an established writer, at chapter 1 or 100: as long as you have a project you can bring to the group, Peter will try to help you move forward with it.

(There are signups online and at the desk on the day)

The full programme is here.

 

*I'm not sure what a brickout room is for, but it sounds interesting.

Rikon 2017

*Emma was the guest of honour

I got to go to Rikon this year as the Guest of Dishonour* and had the best time.

Seriously. Croatian fandom is a beautiful thing. A bit like a large extended family, where everyone seems to know each other and are accepting of each other, warts and all. The same easy, fun, vibe seemed to permeate the convention itself.

 

 

 

There were some great vendors too, and while we may have spent too much money, we regret nothing! Special mention to Živko Kondić. If you like cool SFF artwork, his site is well worth a look.

Happy to have survived! (Igor, Tamara, Me and Emma)

 

As well as talks and presentations, there's quite a focus on quizzes, LARP, and games, and this year I got to have my first escape room experience in the Murder Tent! We had an extra level of difficulty as the clues were in Croatian and had to be translated by our fellow team members but we made it in the very last minute!

This was the view from our hotel. 😀

 

 

 

I strongly recommend you go if you get the chance. Rijeka is by the sea and is small enough that it's easy to walk to most places. It also features:

  • Beautiful views
  • Many places that serve great coffee
  • Excellent sea food
  • A gluten free bakery!
  • Medica (Booze with honey is the best booze)

 

 

But more than any of this, the thing that makes me want to go back is the feeling that I've made some new friends, and I'm already missing them.

 

Tea and Jeopardy roundup – Hugos, live shows and big names!

If you keep up to date with Tea and Jeopardy using my blog, you have my sympathy! A combination of being away, technical issues and other distractions mean there's a lot to catch up on.

In episode 66 we went to the North Pole and had the fabulous Maurice Broaddus over for tea and cake.

In episode 67 we went to Doll Island with the delightful Sarah Day.

Last month we went to Helsinki for WorldCon 75 and did a special live show with George R(eally) R(eally) Martin! (Click here to see the video)

AND WE ALSO WON THE HUGO FOR BEST FANCAST 😀

Chicken faces! (Photo by Sanna Pudas more photos available here)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we celebrated in episode 68.

Enjoy!

The David Gemmell Awards Ceremony 2016

I love this picture! (Photo by Annie Czajkowski)

I love this picture! (Photo by Annie Czajkowski)

The ceremony was held at Fantasycon on Saturday 24th September. This isn't a post about Fantasycon but I will say that it was a good convention, and that the redcloaks were as hard working and fabulous as ever.

I have to admit, that when I went to the ceremony, I was really nervous! In fact, I'd been getting nervous for at least an hour or two before.

 

 

The ceremony began with Phil Lunt reading from David Gemmell's Legend. Readings can be tough at the best of times but I can only imagine the pressure that Phil must have felt that night. But I have to say he did an EXCELLENT job. While I was listening to him, it suddenly struck me how much impact David Gemmell has had on other writers. I'd watched a panel last year where I'd heard people like Ian Whates and Ed Cox speak to his qualities as a writer but also as an inspiration. And when Phil was reading, I could hear some of the rhythm and mood of Druss in Steve Aryan's Battlemage and the character of Vargus.

I'd always known that Gemmell was important, but in that moment I was suddenly aware of the very real ripples of his influence impacting on a new generation of writers.

 

There was something very human and humbling about the ceremony. It was personal. Stan and Anne Nicholls were there as friends as much as organisers. And Andy Remic gave a hilarious recounting of his fan letters to David Gemmell and the replies he got. Frances Hardinge was brilliant as ever, and her delight at getting to wield an axe in public was something to behold.

I'm not sure she's going to hand it over without a fight.

Natasha Bardon tries to collect the axe for Mark Lawrence but I'm not sure Frances is going to hand it over without a fight… (Photo by Peter Coleborn)

It was cool getting my award given to me by Scott Lynch too! He gave a great speech about the joys of being a debut, and it was clear that David Gemmell himself had been a strong supporter of new writers. For my part I mostly shook Scott's hand, said thank you repeatedly, and grinned at everybody.

So, at the risk of being unBritish about this, it was an incredible night! I've never won anything before*, and the reaction from the room when The Vagrant was announced is something I'll never forget.

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(Photo by Peter Coleborn)

Thanks to everyone who voted, you are wonderful!

Big congrats to Mark Lawrence for winning the Legend, and Jason Chan** for winning the Ravenheart too!

 

*Not on my own, anyway.

**I hadn't realised he'd worked on Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age too! Check out the site.

Fantasycon by the sea

I'm going to be attending Fantasycon this year. If you're going, feel free to say hi! You can find me in the following places:

Friday 23rd September

It's a kind of magic
3.00pm – 4.00pm. Royal Ballroom (Royal Hotel) – Magic in fantasy fiction. Do you need it all and how do you use it well?

Getting Unstuck Masterclass
5.00pm – 6.00pm. Room 108 (Grand Hotel) – This is for writers already engaged in a project. All are welcome. It doesn't matter if you are at page 1 or 100, if you are new writer or have been published for years. You present the problem and I try to solve it so you can get back to work!
Sign up at registration (max 15).

Saturday 24th September

Gemmell Award Ceremony
7.00pm – 9.00pm. Royal Ballroom (Royal Hotel). The Vagrant is up for a Morningstar along with five other top books. One way or the other, there will be drinking!

Sunday 25th September

Fantasycon/BFA Awards Banquet
12.30pm – 3.00 Royal Ballroom (Royal Hotel). The Vagrant is up for a best newcomer award here too, and in great company. I've never had so much to lose on one weekend before!

Competition time!

If you’re going to Fantasycon and want to win a signed copy of The Vagrant or The Malice all you have to do is attend any of the programme items above and ask me the question: “Am I the First?” If you’re the first person to ask me that, you win. Simple!*

*Bonus points if you do it in the questions section of my panel.

The Hammer and the Goat, Stockholm, and Tulák!

Revised 1

Look who's back!

THE HAMER AND THE GOAT

My first short story set in the world of THE VAGRANT, is now available for pre-order! It follows The Hammer that Walks and the goat on an adventure set parallel to events in THE VAGRANT, and is best read after you've finished that. The cover is by the ever awesome Jaime Jones.

 

 

 

Stockholm
I'll be going to Stockholm this month with the fabulous Francesca Haig. We'll be attending the Big Book Bananza on the 12th September and doing a panel and signing event at 6pm on the 13th September at the Science Fiction Bokhandeln (I'm told the store is amazing btw). I'm really looking forward to it.

Swishy!

Swishy!

 

TULÁK
The Czech versions of THE VAGRANT have arrived from Host and they're looking really cool! I especially like the swishy spot uv on the cover and the blue tint they've given it. If there are any Czech readers in the UK who would be interested in getting a copy, drop me a line.

Edge Lit 2016 & a trip to Waterstones Birmingham with Den & Jen!

Edge Lit 5

I'll be at Edge Lit 5 this year, feel free to come and say hi. My programme is below and if you want to win a free copy of THE VAGRANT or THE MALICE, details are after that!

12pm-1pm (Cinema 2)
High Fantasy, High Art: Is Fantasy Fiction Growing More Literary?
Edward Cox, Peter Newman, Cherry Potts, Marc Turner, Jen Williams

2pm-3pm (Green Room)
Getting Unstuck: A Workshop for Writers Stuck on a Project!

4pm-5pm (The Box)
I'm interviewing guest of honour Emma Newman!

8pm onwards (The Box)
Super Relaxed Fantasy Club
Hosted by Peter Newman and Jen Williams

Competition time!

If you’re going to Edge Lit 5 and want to win a signed copy of The Vagrant or The Malice all you have to do is attend any of the programme items above and ask me the question: “Am I the First?” If you’re the first person to ask me that, you win. Simple!*

Waterstones Birmingham

And then on the 23rd July at Waterstones Birmingham at 6.30, I'll be joining the delightful Den Patrick and Jen Williams for a 'Foray into Fantasy'. Be great to see you there!

 

*Bonus points if you do it in the questions section of any of my panels/items.

Sci-Fi Weekender – Where I'll be and how to win books (if you're going too)

SFW7_Last_day_passesBlimey, it’s the Sci-Fi weekender this week. It’s my first time there and I’m really hoping that I’ll get a chance to meet Brian Blessed. If you’re going too, read on for details of what I’m doing and a chance to win books!

 

 

 

 

Friday 18th March.

11.00am Meet and Greet (Owner’s Lounge)

12.00pm Q&A with Reading (Starbucks/Author zone)

1.30pm Dystopia – As good as it used to be? (Starbucks/Author Zone)

4.30 Writing the Inhuman: Demons/Monsters/Mages (Starbucks/Author Zone)

Saturday 19th March

11.00am Meet and Greet (Owner’s Lounge)

12.30pm When Does Horror Become Fantasy? (Main Void)

1.30pm Psychological Versus Visceral  (Starbucks/Author Zone)

3.15pm Publishing Today – Getting You Work Out there. (Starbucks/Author Zone)

5.30pm Just a Minute*. (Main Void)

 

Competition time!

If you’re going to the Sci-Fi Weekender and want to win a signed copy of The Vagrant or Landfall all you have to do is attend any of the programme items above and ask me the question: “Am I the First?” If you’re the first person to ask me that, you win. Simple!**

 

*I've not done this before so quite nervous. And I'm sure nothing bad will come of the fact that I'm competing against Emma…

**Bonus points if you do it in the questions section of any of my panels/items.

Tea & Jeopardy Roundup: Danie Ware, C.E. Murphy and Brandon Sanderson!

teaandjeopardy_geekplanet-300x300Tea and Jeopardy 45 is now live! In this episode the fabulous Danie Ware comes to the Tea Lair to talk finishing a series, geek culture and the joy of roleplaying.

You can listen to it here.

 

We’ve also put up the videos of the two live shows we did in October.

First there’s Octocon 2015 Live Show with the wonderful C.E. Murphy.
Watch it here!

And then there’s FantasyCon 2015 with the one and only Brandon Sanderson!
You can watch this one here!

Enjoy!

Lastly, we’re inviting Patrons to get involved with our Advent Calendar this year. If you’re a member of the Order of the Sacred Teacup and you haven’t already,* we’d love you to get involved.

If you’re interested in supporting Tea and Jeopardy and would like to join the Order of the Sacred Teacup, our Patreon page is here.

If you’d like to catch up on old episodes, there’s a full index here.

 

*The responses so far have been FABULOUS! 😀

Fantasycon 2015: Where I'll be

I’m going to FantasyCon 2015. Hopefully you are too! Here’s where to find me:

Friday 23rd October

6.00 Protag / Antag: Character Creation (Conference Theatre)

A brave halfling, a bow-wielding rebel leader, a plucky teenage wizard…what makes them inherently interesting? Our panel shares their insights into creating and developing characters.

  • does the character shape the story or the story shape the character?
  • building back-story: detail versus enigma
  • older/wiser? Developing the character over-time
  • the arch-nemesis: the ingredients for creating a great villain
  • the role of the sidekick, companion and ‘hench-person’

Caroline Hooton (m), Ruth Booth, John Connolly, KT Davies, Peter Newman, James Oswald

Saturday 24th October

12.00 Workshop: Getting Unstuck led by Peter Newman (Suite 2)
A workshop for any writers who are stuck with a project. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or an established writer, at chapter 1 or 100: as long as you have a project you can bring to the group, Peter will try to help you move forward with it. Maximum: 12 attendees. There will be a sign-up sheet from the start of the day. Places will be allocated on a first-come basis

teaandjeopardy_geekplanet-300x3006.00pm Tea & Jeopardy (Conference Theatre)
Live edition of the Hugo Award-winning podcast, presented by Emma Newman, assisted by Latimer the Butler. Featuring special guest Brandon Sanderson

 

Sunday 25th October

11.40 Reading: Emma and I will be sharing this slot. 🙂

 

Competition time!

If you’re going to Fantasycon and want to win a signed copy of The Vagrant all you have to do is attend any of the programme items above and ask me the question: “Am I the First?” If you’re the first person to ask me that, you win. Simple!*

*Bonus points if you do it in the questions section of my panel.