Checking in from EasterCon

by Mhairi Simpson on April 8, 2012

Well, what can I say? I’m feeling a bit out of it, to be honest. I’m sitting in the bar. Sarah J Higbee, Fran Terminiello and Rosie Lane just headed off to the Guests of Honour autograph session. I just opened my wee baby laptop that I haven’t given the barest “hello” to since I got here and realised I haven’t posted in a while. Or rather, it feels like a while. That’s probably just because I’m on sensory overload.

The hotel is beautiful. The bar does the best chips. I think I’ve run them out of chicken caesar salad and good chips because they brought me fries today instead (yes, there’s a difference). But hey, it’s food. I had to ask them to take the croutons out of the last couple of caesar salads I had. Made that mistake the first day. Paid for it in stomach cramps for the rest of the afternoon.

Lesson learned.

I have also been to panels (in case you were wondering if I’ve only seen the inside of the bar since I’ve been here). I am now very familiar with the inside of the bar, but the panels have been great. Joe Abercrombie is always hilarious (“edgy, but humorous”) and great value. I was able to put faces to a great many names I already knew, like John Jarrold, Ian Drury, Elspeth Cooper and Gillian Redfearn. I’ve also met a number of other people whose names and faces I didn’t know at all and I was suitably embarrassed by my ignorance. It was also lovely to meet up with Suzanne McLeod and Anne Lyle again, too.

The “There’s a hole in my plot” panel was great fun. At least, up to the point, about five minutes in, where I started choking because I had a tickle in my throat and couldn’t get rid of it. Luckily Rosie had a bottle of water in her bag. Otherwise I was about to appropriate Juliet E. McKenna‘s which was sitting handily on the table in front of me. And in front of her, as she was on the panel I was desperately trying not to interrupt.

Then Rosie had to go and sterilise it in the bedroom in case I’d lurgified it.

Sharing a room with Rosie has been a lot easier than I thought. She’s a very quiet sleeper. No tossing and turning, no snoring. No weird huffs and sighs. I suppose I should have warned her that I talk in my sleep, but she hasn’t mentioned it yet so either she’s slept through it or she’s had worse from her husband and son at home.

I’ve been astonished by the friendliness of people who I can imagine would rather not talk to wannabe authors they’ve never heard of. Amanda Rutter very gracious gave an extensive definition of YA which led directly to the uncomfortable realisation on my part that my current WIP is YA after all. Angry Robot is having an two week open door period which starts in just over a week’s time. At only 30% of the first draft complete, I have no hope of making that deadline.

But a lot of stuff has bubbled up out of writerly chats in the bar (best place for them) and for that alone I am overwhelmingly glad I attended EasterCon. There will be more to come, I’m sure!

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