I have to tell you: there is nothing quite like walking into a hotel and seeing 550 people walking around with your name writ large on their shoulders! Thanks to Iain Millar, Nicola Budd, Caroline Turner and Versa Jones, not only did we have the very classy Jo Fletcher Books bags, but we also had the even classier JFB Notebooks and Samplers (although it had to be my ever-loving husband Ian Drury who got the rare upside-down copy of the Sampler! And no, he wouldn’t give it back – he was muttering something about eBay as he hid it away. Honestly, agents…)
So there we all were, packed into the Royal Albion Hotel on Brighton Seafront for Fantasycon – so before I forget, enormous thanks to Marie O’Regan, Paul Kane and the Redshirts (not forgetting Puppetmaster – sorry, eminence gris – Stephen Jones!), who put on an absolutely terrific convention. The Guests of Honour, Gwyneth Jones, Pete Atkins, Joe Abercrombie and Quercus’ own John Ajvide Lindqvist, with Very Special Guests Brian Aldiss and Christopher Paolini, were all very ably herded by the lovely Mistress of Ceremonies, Sarah Pinborough (coming to JFB in 2013!), and every one of them added something special to an already fab event; you couldn’t have wished for a better line-up.
And not only did we have the hottest October on record but we also had the hottest launch of the year as members of Fantasycon, a stellar collection of authors, artists, editors, agents, publishers, and, most importantly, readers, gathered to help me celebrate the launch of Jo Fletcher Books – and the publication of A Book Of Horrors, an anthology of horror stories edited by Stephen Jones which includes both newcomers and some of the greatest names in the field, including John Ajvide Lindqvist – whose own new book, Little Star, is just out from Quercus.
Lucy Ramsey put on a fantastic party, and, most importantly, we never ran out of wine! I would have been all right, of course – my erstwhile assistant, Gillian Redfearn, now of course Gollancz’s Editorial Director, and always a dear friend – made sure of that by presenting me with a bottle of Krug (and a straw).
In amongst the crush Jon Harrison, Alex Veasey and Danie Ware of Forbidden Planet managed to sell enough copies of A Book Of Horrors, Lindqvist’s Little Star, and The Leaping and The Thing on the Shore by Tom Fletcher – also now with JFB (sorry, Quercus!) – to keep John Ajvide Lindqvist, Stephen Jones, Peter Crowther, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Tuttle, Reggie Oliver, Robert Shearman and Tom Fletcher signing for more than an hour and a half… so I think we can safely say that was a big success too.
It was one of the most memorable nights of my life – and I’ve led a pretty exciting life.
So GO! GO! GO! Team JFB!