Sorry for the slightly belated nature of my report on the Fight Like A Girl launch. This was caused mainly by being knackered. I might be the mightiest and the fightiest (according to Lou Morgan 😉 ) but on Sunday I was also the most exhausted person on the planet, just about.

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Partners in Crime. We made a book…


A GLOWY book!

Still, awake now, and raring to tell you what went down at the Hatchet on Saturday. Which started with a nice unassuming breakfast at Boston Tea Party with co-editor Roz Clarke, Chris, our friend Tom and fellow Grimmies Sophie E Tallis (White Mountain (The Darkling Chronicles) by Sophie E. Tallis (1-Dec-2014) Paperback ) and Kate Coe (Green Sky & Sparks ) (but sadly not our lovely Sammy HK Smith, who was called in to Fight Crime Like a Girl instead 😦 ) before we descended on the Hatchet.

The launch went fabulously – by 1pm there were people queuing down the stairs and out of the door, all eager to hear three superb readings from Danie Ware, Lou Morgan and Sophie. The ever-unflappable Cheryl Morgan hosted a panel to discuss the themes of the anthology and the reasons behind it, and roped me in as a last minute replacement for Julia Knight, who had had to pull out as her daughter was ill 😦

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Danie Ware reading – photo by Sophie Tallis

The panel also featured K T Davies, who talked about how hearing about a suicide had inspired her story in the anthology (“The Quality of Light”), Gaie Sebold, who spoke about her time as a water carrier in the Sealed Knot, because women weren’t allowed on the front lines even in re-enactment, and Dolly Garland, who talked about how she had come around to embracing the idea of being an Indian writer without boxing herself in, and how she had drawn on Indian mythology for her story “The Runaway Warrior”.

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Paneling Like Girls (L-R) Me, K. T Davies, Cheryl Morgan, Gaie Sebold, Dolly Garland. Photo by Tom Parker.

Then there was a packed-out demonstration of both akido and sword-fighting, brought to us by Juliet McKenna (The Thief’s Gamble (Tales of Einarinn Book 1) ) and Fran Terminiello, with the help of some equally fighty assistants. Fran proved you can fight with a sword bigger than yourself, and Juliet showed us what to do when you’ve only brought bare hands to a knife fight.

Then there was wine – in pint mugs, because the Hatchet is the kind of sticky-floored fantasy novel tavern where people quaff pints and start brawls, and they have nothing as fluffy and delicate as wine glasses. So the wine was quaffed. In pints.

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It comes in pints? I’m having one! (photo by Dolly Garland)

And there was a lovely signing scramble that eventually settled down into something like a queue, but still had a lovely scrambly chaotic quality about it (well, that’s what it looked like from my side of the desk). We sold a whole bunch of books, everyone had a great time, the bar for Bristol launches was raised another notch (gulp) and it was the fightiest feministy book launch the Hatchet has ever seen, if the nervous face of the lovely barman was anything to go by. Though Fran’s enormous bag of edged weapons may have contributed to that…

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Juliet and Fran, now directed by JJ Abrams – photo by Sophie


Many thanks to the Hatchet, who were brilliant throughout in the face of exploding beer lines, bags of swords, fighty shouty SFF fans and requests for wine glasses, of all things. And thanks to everyone who came along, and all our readers and panelists and fighters, for making it such an utterly brilliant day – Sammy gets to come next time, though!

Fight Like A Girl is available NOW from Amazon, Waterstones and other on and off-line booksellers – go grab yourself a copy!