Fresh from a superb weekend kickstarted by a wee trip into central London, in support of ‘Best British Horror 2015’, which was launched at Covent Garden Waterstone’s. The event itself was brilliant. An evening surrounded by genuinely lovely people, mostly fellow writers – including a few I hadn’t met before, which was doubly excellent. I heard readings from Alison Moore, John Llewellyn Probert (who is an absolute master in the delicate art of reading for an audience), Priya Sharma (whose debut reading went admirably smoothly – rather better than my own!) and Stephen Laws, whose story ‘The Slista’ is one of the most oddly compelling pieces of short fiction I’ve read in ages. Written in a bizarre pidgin English, it’s the kind of story some people just might not ‘get’, but to me gets better and better every time I re-read it – and to hear it read aloud added another facet to the experience. I think this’ll definitely be a long term favourite of mine. And of course the man himself Johnny Mains, with his rendition of Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’.
….after which, the announcement of the British Fantasy Awards nominees. Of which I am one. Twice, in fact. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this! I’ve been nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Short Story’, the latter for ‘Ptichka’, which appeared in ‘Horror Uncut: Tales of Social Insecurity and Economic Unease‘ (which, rather brilliantly, it itself nominated in the ‘Best Anthology’ category – I’m thrilled to bits about that as well!) Utterly unexpected and frankly one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. It’s an absolute honour to be nominated, and to share the shortlists with a bunch of very talented individuals – I won’t be in the least bit disappointed to be a runner-up to any of them. It’s brilliant to see so many lovely and deserving people nominated for awards this year, and I have so many fingers crossed it’s a wonder I’m still able to type.
All in all, it’s been a good few days!