Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to a brilliant bookish event down in London. For once, the stars aligned and I could be down south for it so I leapt at the chance to attend. I’m so, so glad I did.
The event was a panel with three new debut fantasy authors and chaired by Tom Lloyd, another great writer by the sound of things. All three authors had new works out recently or in the near future, one of which I had already had the pleasure to read and loved. That, of course, was Blackwing by Ed McDonald. Accompanying him was Anna Smith Spark with The Court of Broken Knives and Anna Stephens, who wrote Godblind. The authors treated us with a reading from their books, which sucked me right in (and made me break my book-buying ban). All three are gritty and violent, if the passages we experienced were anything to go by.
After that, the event moved on to the Q&A section of the evening. Here, Tom Lloyd really came into his own, guiding the authors through an insightful (and often hilarious) discussion about what it means to write fantasy and the intricacies of publishing a book for the very first time. It was incredible to find out just how much goes into bringing a novel into the world, from time to brutal edits. I also loved hearing a little bit more about the nuances of the fantasy genre as it wasn’t something I was particularly clued up on before. I knew I loved escaping into new worlds but I hadn’t given much thought to the extra labels in the genres. Turns out I love grimdark fantasy. Who knew?
As I mentioned earlier, I did end up buying some of the books on offer during this evening. I’ve already read Blackwing and now I can’t wait to get stuck into the other two. I’m sure you’ll be finding out my thoughts on them soon enough!