Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Swancon and More Glenda Larke

I had intended to blog about Swancon earlier but Real Life and all that - but I have a moment now.

Being local, I usually only attend during the day but there were such interesting panels on Thursday night that I decided to share a room with some friends. Then I came down with a monumental migraine on Thursday and had to postpone booking in until Friday morning so I missed them after all. The fantastic con bag was some consolation. They gave us books - lots of books - and current ones at that.

Once I got the hang of the Hyatt - boy, there are a lot of stairs there and very limited disabled access. It's bad enough for those in wheelchairs or with prams but for those of us who find walking difficult it's an even greater challenge. Once I got in though most things were accessible by lifts - unless you wanted to go to one of the two restaurants on the ground floor.then the only options were several steep flights of stairs or to go to the back of the hotel complex, use the ramp and then go right around the building on the outside and come in again at street level. This was a considerable distance to walk for someone with a knee awaiting surgery. Apart from that quibble once I got there the central bar was a great place to hang out because everyone had to pass it to get anywhere else so it was a great place to catch up - with con goers that is. It was not so easy to catch up with wait staff even if you only wanted to pay a bill. An hour and a half to do that is really not satisfactory or, on another occasion, the same time to actually get my order.

None of this reflects on the organisers, of course, who put together a host of fascinating panels and kaffeeklatsches and then there were the book launches and the dealers' room. My interest is largely entered on writing - both skills and as a business - and there was a multitude of these panels. My biggest problem usually was choosing which of several interesting panels to go to. One which particularly interested me had Glenda Larke as a panellist. I was really intrigued by the way she approached writing a trilogy. She began by mapping it out and then writing the first book. While she was trying to sell that book she would move on to the next trilogy and do the same. I am not sure how she does that. While I see the logic I find have to complete one story before I move on to the next - and if that's three novels so be it. Glenda was interviewed by Tansy Rayner Roberts while she was at Swancon and in the interview she expands more on this. You can hear the podcast here

Other highlights were catching up with some of my fellow Clarionites as well as tutors and organisers from Clarion South. There were lots of others too, old friends and some new ones including some whose writing I've been admiring for quite a while. I always enjoy Swancon. It's friendly and let's face it, where else except a con can you be sitting in a bar and see an ewok go by or a glamorous steampunk lady.

My only regret, apart from missing Thursday night, is that I couldn't buy all the books I would have liked. I simply couldn't have carried them. Oh well I'll just have to go off to the bookshops, won't I.

1 comment:

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks for the memories, Helen! It was a super con and I had great room-mates!