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The East Midlands Book Award 2015

So, after a flurry of excited tweeting a few weeks ago, I thought I probably should mention here too that I have been shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award 2015. This is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened. Well, I think so anyway. You can see the full shortlist and find out more information here:

http://www.writingeastmidlands.co.uk/east-midlands-book-award-2015/

In anticipation of the awards ceremony on the 30th June, there is going to be an authors’ panel next Thursday (18th June 2015) at West Bridgford Library:

http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/learning/libraries/find-a-library/west-bridgford-library/events/?entryid139=495502

The reason I am so excited about this award is that it is for “Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry or Plays” – it is not a specific science fiction award so this is an opportunity to lay our genre before a wider audience.

LONCON3

Wow!

Okay, you may need a little more than that. I went to LonCon3 at ExCeL in London, which some of you may have noticed was the WorldCon. Yes, that’s the big science fiction convention, still devoted to the written word, where they judge and announce the Hugo Awards.

And I mean, wow!

I am still buzzing. Not just because my publishers, Inspired Quill, put together a great stand with inspired authors and an inspired message, which they did. Not because I sold some books and took a selfie with childhood hero, Robert Silverberg:

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Not even because George RR Martin strolled past while I was working on my laptop and I didn’t even look up (#epicfail).

It was meeting all the conventioneers that made me feel wowish. The incredible diversity, friendliness, passion, knowledge and downright tolerance brought home to me the wonderful community I am trying to write for. Some who stuck in my mind were people I met again in civvies after seeing them in costume the previous day, the American lady who brought me a bag of M&Ms just because and the first ever stranger to tell me they liked my book. At one point I knew I was talking to a physicist, so mentioned that I had worked hard to make the science right. He bought it and then discovered that he works in astrophysics at Harvard. I twitched a little and considered snatching it back from him…

It was great sharing a stand with Sara (the supreme commander of Inspired Quill) and Matthew Munson and Ben Hennessy (fellow authors at IQ). There was a real sense of being in it together and between us we sold a respectable number of books as well as networking and promoting IQ’s social enterprise ethos. Here is a picture of my end of the table:

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Yes, that is a giant gobstopper in the middle of the sweetie solar system. I believe it is the largest one can buy in Ashby de la Zouch – watch out for a future blog where I break it up to see if it really is multi-layered inside. We also noticed that if you line up several of my books in that configuration you can make one big window.

The dénouement of the conference was the Hugo Awards, so I will sign off with this picture of the after-party. Can you see two TARDISs?

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