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It was quite a shock to arrive in London yesterday and discover it was about ten degrees hotter there than in Bristol.  And the hottest ticket in town was the Fantasy Faction author event at Blackwells on Charing Cross Road.

In the last 18 months or so, Fantasy Faction has become one of, if not the, premier fantasy resource sites in the UK.  These guys work hard, and they put a lot of time and effort, and love, into what they do.  It shows – persuading around 100 people to cram into the back of a bookshop on a stuffy August evening is no small feat.  Impressively, it was FF’s first event, and it was standing room only for those not lucky enough to be there early and grab a chair.

Joe Abercrombie

The stars of the evening were Joe Abercrombie, Peter V Brett and Myke Cole, forming a panel and fielding questions from Mark and Paul from FF, some supplied by FF forumers.  I confess I haven’t read anything by Brett or Cole (I was there for the Applecrumble 😉 ) but they were both such interesting, personable chaps that I quickly resolved to remedy that as soon as I have some cash.

They questions ranged from the serious (Can fantasy change the world?  Conclusions – errrr….) to the not-so-serious.  Is writing the most fun you can have by yourself?  Or is the most fun you can have by yourself, as Joe said, actually Red Dead Redemption, which is also fun you can have with friends?  I tend to side with Myke on this one :

“I don’t like writing. I like having written. Often writing feels like chewing your own

Myke Cole

foot off, and at the end of it, all you have to show for it is a chewed-off foot…”

They also discussed social media.  Joe found it a time-suck, but Myke and Peter both found it a tool for procrastination / way to connect with readers. (Myke and Peter are both on Twitter – @mykecole and @PVBrett respectively )  They all emphasised the importance of not letting social media distract from your writing, which is an easy trap to fall into, and Myke made a point about how it’s yet to be proven that social media actually leads to book sales, despite what social media analysts will tell you…

After the Q&A there was a well-attended signing, and then everyone decamped to the pub to carry on the conversation.

Many congrats to Fantasy Faction for putting on such a well-organised event, and thanks to Blackwells for hosting.  Hoping this will be the first of many!

Next stop (for me, at least) is FantasyCon at the end of September – looking forward to that one!