Wheee! Smutwriters go to the seaside! This is the view from the window of our hotel, where the World Horror Convention 2010 was being held. If I was to have turned round 180 degrees and taken another photo, you would have been able to see the hotel's historic features (and stains), plus more bald men with grey beards than you could shake a stick at. Nice friendly ones though. I spoke briefly to Tim Lebbon.
Here's one who isn't bald: it's Neil Gaiman, who was a surprise guest and hot off the plane from Moscow.
The focus of the convention was literary horror - there weren't any people in costumes or whatever. There were loads of panels covering subjects like "How to get an agent" and "Are zombies the new vampires?" There was an art show downstairs.There were bars open until 2am (hence a perilous lack of sleep). And of course there were authors doing readings of their work.
This one looks like she's enjoying herself, whoever she is...
Oh yes - I even got a couple of chances to get out and look around Brighton. Here's the Pavilion (which used to be a royal palace). The interior decoration has to be seen to be believed! Brighton Pier at night, btw, was a markedly unsettling experience. You've got the glaring lights of the carnival shows and cheesy pop music on one side, while from the other comes the noise of the distinctly hungry-sounding sea. The pier seems to hover in pitch-blackness, and below your feet the wooden boards sag rottenly in places. I don't think I've felt so irrationally nervous in years.
(L to R: Me, Olivia Knight, Mathilde Madden, Kristina Lloyd).
Oh yeah, the public reading made me pretty damn nervous too: it was my first time so I had virgin's jitters. Poor Olivia had to bear the brunt of me trying to second guess what the audience would want (How scary? How rude? How long?). But once I was up there reading out loud, I loved it. Our late-night audience stuck it out with us for two hours, despite being given a chance to escape halfway through, and they were appreciative and friendly. The four of us read two excerpts each. I did a bit from my short stories The Red Thread (Minotaur sex) and Montague's Last Ride (corpsy undead sex). Yes, all the way through to the icky and thoroughly offensive ending!
So, a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. But I fell asleep sat on the floor of the train on the way home...
P.S: Big thanks to Charlotte, our official photographer!