Crossing the Pond…Finally

I made my first trip to the UK at the end of March.  Before the volcanic ash problems, but during the British Airways strike.  Is it always so hard to get into (and out of) the UK?  I hope not, because I really would like to return!

I had two bookshop signings—one at Forbidden Planet in London and one at Waterstones Deansgate in Manchester.  Both were wonderful.  The store staff did a great job and, even better, people showed up.  Yes, having readers actually show up for a signing is kind of the point, but I can remember the days when I was lucky if two people arrived and neither was related to me.  Things have changed a bit, but I’m still very grateful when readers take time from their day to come out and meet me.

My next stop was the main reason for the trip—the annual Horror Writers of America conference.  Or, in this case, since it wasn’t in America, “World Horror.”  I’ve never actually been to one in the States.  The last one I attended was in Toronto.  I may be establishing a pattern here…

I love horror conventions.  I’m an odd fit, I know, and I always hear plenty of “Er, but you don’t actually write horror…”  Of course, I hear that at any genre conventions—fantasy, romance, mystery, etc.  That’s both the advantage and disadvantage of writing cross-genre fiction.  I can justify going to any convention, but I don’t fit squarely into any of them.  Horror, though, is my sentimental favourite.  I grew up reading and writing it, and HWA was the first professional organization I joined once I was published.

Had a blast at the convention, as always.  Sat on the obligatory “vampire” panel, as always.  That’s one constant at any convention these days, regardless of genre.  The vampire panel.  I’m occasionally tempted to point out that, of all supernatural creatures, I do vampires the least, but if it means I get to sit on panels and contribute to anthologies with great authors, then I’m going to keep my mouth shut!

Overall, a wonderful trip, and I can’t wait to return.  Hopefully, airplanes will be operating when I do.