Friday, November 4, 2011

The Botanist's Castle

An illustration I am very fond of and had forgotten about! Did this one in 2004? 2005? For a book I wrote during my Master's program called 'The Botanist's Castle'. Pencil on watercolour paper. Done before I discovered Fabriano 4.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Home from the World Fantasy Conference

So, I've just surfaced from a marathon sleeping session (15hours?), unpacked at least half of my stuff, and had breakfast. I did, unfortunately sleep through Halloween, but William assures me I did not miss much.

So my first time to San Diego, my first time to California, and more importantly my first time to a World Fantasy Convention.

Firstly I must say, for a bunch of supposedly anti-social creative types, I was rather overwhelmed by the sheer amount of socialising that went on. There was even a room, stocked with a never-ending supply of food purely to encourage the socialising. I suppose that everyone works by themselves, and then once a year comes out to party with their fellow book lovers for a year?

I met all sorts of interesting people - writers, editors, artists, more writers and even some people who just like reading books. I learned that Dianna Wynne Jones had a travel jinx, that Neil Gaiman is working on American Gods II and a very entertaining book that ISN'T about milk, but what can happen on the way to buy it. I learned that Patrick Rothfuss is very hairy and sweet and that Connie Willis is hysterically funny.

The art show was an interesting mix, with some lovely people. I particularly enjoyed Ruth Sanderson's art, and Lee Moyer's. Ruth's oils were fantastic to see in real life. Oh and William O'Connor was great too.

I spoke to quite a few editors, and got some good feedback so I'll see if that comes to anything (I hope so!).

I read Eon on the way home by Alison Goodman, who is a new author to me. It was very good, I recommend it, especially if you are a fan of Tamora Pierce.

All in all I think it is going to take me a while to sort out the whole experience in my head. It was very inspiring but rather overwhelming as well. I have a list of inspired things to do which I shall work through... better get started!

Photos: The Yellow Skeleton Lady was in 'The Old Town' San Diego, where I breifly wandered the day before the convention started. No, it is not me after the convention. The other one shows Ruth Sanderson talking about her work at a panel.