So I've never been to The States, and I've never been to a Convention - hell, I've never even done a personal author event, so after several years of getting the a bad case of the jellies every June, when I saw my Twitter and Facebook feed fill up with pictures of my lovely author homies all meeting up, I knew that had to change.
Thanks to the friendship of the amazing Carlyle Labuschagne (a fellow author whose energy and kindness I admire beyond measure, and the friendship with the lovely
Carol Kohnert Kunz over the years through Facebook and Twitter) I made the plunge to book the tickets -- purposefully ignoring my total phobia of dying, I mean, flying!
Not only that, my general in for a penny, in for a dollar attitude, also saw me make a bid to do one of the Xchange of ideas talks. (Don't tell them that I had to bang off my proposal twenty minutes before the GMT deadline) Now this should be okay, despite my general aversion to public displays of confidence, as I have spent the last fifteen years of my life 'presenting' the cannon of English and American literature to many disinterested, and fortunately far greater number of interested teenagers in my previous life as a secondary school level teacher. (High School to you U.S folks)
So my Xchange of ideas is going to be a truly 'Cutural X-Change,' as I talk about some of the essential differences an English Teen (YA) writer of Arthurian romances and English teen experiences faces when trying to break into the American market. I have a feeling (a hope) that it's going to involve a lot of laughter, humour and awkward questions.
All I've got to do now is somehow organise my thoughts on Wellies, Jumpers, Under-age drinking and promiscuity into some kind of functioning ten minute talk. No problem, it's a very long flight to Tennessee so I've been told.