It’s been quite an overwhelming couple of weeks. I launched my debut short story collection Skein and Bone at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Portsmouth before a second launch at the British Fantasy Society’s annual convention in Nottingham, alongside Undertow Publications recent release, Aikman’s Heirs. It was heartening to see so many people turning up to support my work and I’m indebted to a host of wonderful people who’ve helped promote the collection, in particular, Jo at Blackwell’s for helping to organise the Portsmouth event, Portsmouth’s Literature Worker, Tessa Ditner for interviewing me and promoting the night so enthusiastically and to fellow local author, Will Sutton for writing such a wonderful blog about the event, which you can read here. Also to Portsmouth Alumni Association and The Portsmouth Evening News and Southsea Book Club for spreading the word. The Nottingham book launch would not have taken place without Helen Marshall’s hard work and Vince Haig’s artistic talents – the breadth of which can be viewed here – his posters as eye-catching as his original cover art. I’m also thankful to the many esteemed writers and reviewers who have taken the time to review my work, in particular, Laura Mauro, Paul St John Mackintosh, Des Lewis, Gary Fry, James Everington and Jose Cruz. And, of course, to everyone who has bought the book!
It’s incredibly exciting to see the Portsmouth literary scene flourishing, with an abundance of activities from the Portsmouth Writer’s Hub, including the recent success that was Day of the Dead III. Likewise, FantasyCon remains a highlight of the writing calendar, a place to meet old friends and new, to attend panels on all kinds of matters relating to dark fiction – my favourite this year was moderated by David Tallerman on Crime in Fantasy, Horror and SF – and to listen to wonderful stories – those read this year by Priya Sharma, Simon Bestwick, Helen Marshall and James Everington were particularly memorable. You can’t help but feel inspired by all the creative energy surrounding you and to leave with an armload of books is the icing on the cake. All in all, a brilliant, if slightly exhausting October.