There's a Black Library Expo in Canada, fairly imminently, and I was asked if I'd like to host a guest post (from a BL author) talking about the event. Of course I said yes and totally lucked out with who was writing 'my post'; Chris Wraight is no stranger to this blog and now he's back to tell us a little bit about what you can expect to find in Chestermere at the beginning of October...
Being a writer is a privilege. It’s easy to forget that sometimes when the deadlines are looming like banked thunderheads, but it’s incredibly fortunate to be allowed to write stories for a living. It’s even more fortunate when people want to buy those stories, and then talk about them, and then turn them into new stories in turn. And of all the ways to do it, working in a shared universe is surely the most sociable and the most satisfying way to write. It feels at times like being part of one huge narrative, constructed over decades and drawing in the talents and energy of dozens of creative minds.
Taking part in events like the Black Library Expo in Chestermere is like going back to the wellspring, having a chance to chat to the readers, the enthusiasts, authors and editors, the people who ultimately drive the whole thing and keep it going. I’ve always come away from such events with more energy, more ideas and a renewed sense of direction. That’s very useful, as otherwise we spend most of our time working alone. The Internet generates a lot of feedback, of course, but that’s a double-edged sword: people behave differently online; it’s far more rewarding to speak to readers face to face.
It helps when the places we go to are exciting and unfamiliar, as Canada is to me. I’ve never been before, and plan to make the most of it during the short time we’re there. The utterly marvellous Gemma Noon, who’s been organising the event with zest and flair, has been merrily sending out pictures of Alberta for weeks, and it looks stunning. Really stunning. A bit like Fenris, I suppose, without all the murderous fauna lurking around every corner (I hope).
And there’ll be plenty of stuff to talk about. The ink is barely dry on the huge Fear to Tread, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of feverish anticipation over Pariah too. I’m hoping to get a look at Orion: the Vaults of Winter, as well as have a good chat with Nick Kyme about The Great Betrayal and its sequels. As for my own stuff, I’ll be looking forward to discussing recently completed things, like the unremittingly dour Wrath of Iron and the slightly less unremittingly dour Swords of the Emperor omnibus. By the time the doors open there’ll be other projects I’ll be itching to talk about but will probably have to be careful with: more Space Wolves, some dragon-riding High Elves, and in all probability some jetbike-riding White Scars.
It promises to be amazing. Having been lurking on the horizon for a while, it finally feels very close, and I can’t wait. So if you’re in the neighbourhood, or can find a way of getting there, come along. Events like this one don’t come along very often, and you’re not going to want to miss it.