Despite Patrick Darcy threatening to drag me to a night club later, I met him in the bar, well ensconced with some other delegates. I took my leave and returned to the womb like place that is Stars Hollow. I managed one episode of Gilmore girls before I fell asleep.
Sunday 8 June
I woke to another episode of Gilmore girls in bed. I felt I needed some more womb like respite.
Stuffed full of another enormous breakfast, at which I gave a master class on how to make the *perfect* cup and pot of tea to the non-British delegates on the table, I made my way to the first panel. I may well blog about how to make tea properly, since it's something I'm so *into* and is so very British, I'm told.
Avoiding Your Mid-Novel Crisis was a great panel – interesting to see how people split between plotters and pantsers and those who write all over the place, and those who write in a linear way. Jordan Castillo Price and Val Hughes worked well together, giving differnt perspectives to the issues. Val Hughes’ story about a manuscript she’d been submitted that included *something happens* in its midst made me smile. Hands up, I write that all the time, if I can’t work out what needs to happen, but I always put a xxxx next to it, so I can find and replace before it goes beyond my eyes. Smug or organised, you decide?
The Insider Speak panel was a great introduction to newly contracted authors about what to expect as their input to the cover and how the editing process works. It was the first time I'd met TJ Masters in person. It isn’t realistic to expect a cover designer to read your book, but think about the themes, one iconic image that summarises your book, rather than trying to put *the whole book* on the cover.
The Contracts panel scared the life out of me. Jo Myles' and Clare London's wise words were very helpful *checks note book*. Thankfully, I now know the difference between selling your rights and granting your rights. The thing to remember about negotiating is that you’re doing it with another human being, just like you are, and it’s about working out a way you two can work together. That’s not too scary is it? K J Charles was amazing, and although she says she's not a lawyer, she certainly knows contracts inside out.
Aleksandr Voinov gave a great keynote speech about making assumptions about people’s gender, sexuality etc based on what they look like. If someone presents themselves as male, they are to be referred to as male. Same if they self identify as gender queer, they are to be referred to in this way. Pretty simple when you put it like that isn’t it?
The panel to help us plan UK Meet 2015 was really useful, and heartening to hear so much positive feedback from everyone. It’s an amazing feeling to see it all come together after a year of work from the organisers and other helpers.
After some goodbyes – sorry if I missed you, but my well had run dry by that point - I got the 16.30 train from Bristol to London.
Talking to authors, bloggers, readers had, as it always seems to, really inspired me to write more. For the whole journey back to Epping Forest, I listed ideas for new stories and brainstormed a few of them in more detail. I am aiming to write another 2-3 novels before December 2014, and extend a novella by about 20k. That’s first drafts of the novels by the way. I may be able to do this, I may not be able to do this, because life will happen, because I might have writers block, and if that’s the case I am fine with that; I will simply go back to Stars Hollow or read some more Valley of the Dolls style books to entertain and unwind my brain. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Did you go to UK Meet 2014? How was it for you? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, Liam Livings xx