On April 27th I attended the Alternative Fiction Festival in Derby. There were a host of big-time authors there - Ramsey Campbell, Ian Banks, Graham Joyce, Mike Carey, etc - and I was honoured enough to be able to listen to some of them discuss writing, their techniques, and various parts of the publishing industry. It leaned towards the fantasy side of speculative fiction, but it was definitely a worthwhile adventure for a small press guy such as me.
I was down there to do a reading from my story Between The Screams from the anthology Read By Dawn Volume II, along with four others. It was quite exciting standing up in front of the audience, although I probably rushed my moment in the spotlight a little more than I would have liked. Afterwards there were questions (which was an unexpected bonus) and I did my best to offer 'soundbites' for my responses, but I'm sure that more often than not I came off as trying to sound clever rather than anything else.
I met a few authors, made a few contacts, and felt - if only for forty-five minutes - like a more important literary figure than I am, so all in all, a great weekend that did just what it said on the tin.