So that was my first Gamesday in eight years. It was a lot of fun and a lot of travel compressed into a very short time. We flew into Manchester and took a train to Nottingham and checked into the hotel. I dropped in to the Studio, said hello to a few people and recorded an extract from Blood of Aenarion to be broadcast sometime on GW TV. I also picked up a couple of author copies of Blood of Aenarion which is a very beautiful looking book indeed. In the evening we went out to dinner and visited Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem. Well you’ve got to, haven’t you, when you’re in Nottingham for the first time and my family were.
Saturday saw us en route to Birmingham NEC and me in the hall signing books in the company of Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, Sandy Mitchell, James Swallow and Nik Vincent. We built walls of books while chatting away about this and that. In the evening we went out with a group from Black Library editorial and new author Sarah Cawkwell (check out The Gildar Rift) and her family for a nice dinner. Back at the hotel, we sat around in the lounge until late and chatted.
This was like the secret Gamesday for authors. I think it was Robert Heinlein who said that meetings of SF writers at conventions are like the campfire meetings of trappers on the frontier in the Old West. You get together for a moment and swap jokes and tales and then go your separate ways back into the wilderness. There’s something to that. The life of a tie-in writer is a solitary one. It’s an unusual job, done by a very small group of people with its own language and unique problems and interests. It’s not often you get the pleasure of discussing such things with people who understand them from the inside. It was fun. And where else would you get to hear Dan Abnett give a perfect description of the way collecting comics used to be in the days before modern distribution, discuss the logistics of 40K writing with Sandy Mitchell and Jim Swallow and be reminded of exactly how exciting and intimidating it is to be a new author at Gamesday by Sarah Cawkwell? But I digress…
Sunday was Gamesday itself which passed me by in the usual blur. I did not even get a chance to visit the Studio stands where I was hoping to catch up with old friends from the time I worked there. I did some interviews and signed some books and was, as ever, astonished by the sheer scale of the thing. I remember the old days at the Assembly Rooms Derby. Back then I was astounded that a games company could command such a following. Little did I know what was coming! My wife and son got the chance to see all the wonders of Gamesday, the huge games and displays and the beautifully painted minis. They are not hobby gamers so I think it came as a revelation to them. I know it usually does to me.
For me the nicest bit was getting to chat with readers. Having someone tell you that you are the reason they started reading Black Library books never gets old. Someone also said the most flattering if incorrect thing I have heard about myself in quite some time; “It’s true, you do sound like Christopher Lee.” If only it were so. You’ll get a chance to hear my actual slurred troglodytic Scottish muttering when the Blood of Aenarion extract is broadcast.
Anyway, I would just like to finish off by thanking everybody who made it such a lovely day and apologising to anybody I have forgotten to mention of whom I am sure there are many! See you all next year.