Monday, 19 August 2013

My LeakyCon Experience - Part Two

So next up on our LeakyCon adventures was the action packed Friday. Friday started with, you guessed it, a queue. This was the queue for wristbands for the signings of the day. LeakyCon, unlike most cons, include the cost of any signings happening that weekend in the price of the ticket. However, to make for an efficient convention, make sure that those going to the signings get a guaranteed signature and to make sure those doing the signings actually have time to themselves and to enjoy the convention. So in order to make it fair, everyone draws for a wristband – you pull a ticket out of a bag, red is means you didn’t get a wristband and white means you did. On Friday there were three draws going on – Team StarKid, The HP Actors and Hank Green. We got to draw for all three, and I won a wristband for Hank’s signing which I was super excited about because it’s the one I really wanted to go to.

Our first port of call for the day was the Nerdfighter meet-up, which was all kinds of wonderful. After that we grabbed a quick bite of lunch before visiting the Waterstones store which had set up in the building and attending the lit signing. Here I met authors James Dawson, Matt Whyman, Will Hill, Sally Gardner, Samantha Shannon, Laure Eve and Elizabeth Wein who were all absolutely lovely and willing to chat as they signed your book.
My highlight of the day was a LeakyLit panel titled ‘Fear and Loathing in the Writing Process: How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Terror’.

I was particularly looking forward to this panel, as an aspiring author. Writing is all that I’ve ever wanted to do, and if I have it my way what I will end up doing but god it is terrifying at times. It was wonderful, reassured me that those “published authors” are no different from us “normal” folk and that they all suffer from the same issues I do. I also got my question answered about how to set aside time to write when you have a full-time job etc and they were incredibly helpful. I also fell a little bit in love with James Dawson and Samantha Shannon, who are hilarious and so down to earth.

I attended a couple of other panels and the Hank Green signing, and the day was capped off by another Wrock concert with some really amazing performances by some amazingly talented people. Harry and The Potters constantly astound me.

Saturday started with another queue for wristbands, and I managed to pull one for the Harry Potter Actors signing, which was definitely a great start to the day.

Before that, however, was the HP Actors Panel, where the Actors played a hilarious game of HP trivia. After that was the signing, and I was able to get my Blu-Ray Box Set signed by those there and my Wand Box for Luna’s wand signed by Evanna Lynch herself. After that we managed to catch the very end of the Who Has it Worse? Panel, which was a hilarious discussion between Dawn o’Porter and James Dawson.

Next on the agenda was the Who Needs School? Lit panel, where the authors talked about the various ways in which they have come into writing and whether they have actually studied creative writing or English. Naturally, it went off topic and we also spoke about editing, ghost-writing and sticking it to the man (publishers).

The StarKid performance was on the Saturday afternoon. I'm not a massive StarKid fan, but the excitement in that room was absolutely astounding and they do put on a really good performance. 

The highlight of the Saturday was definitely the Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball. It was a chance for all the attendees to get a bit glammed up, get a bit drunk and dance with all the friends that you’ve made that weekend. It was really wonderful, and the whole of the Grand Ballroom dancing to Gangnam Style then belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart is a memory I’ll treasure for a long time.

And then on the Sunday, it was time for the leaving feast. That is literally what it says on the tin, we all ate an English breakfast and cried a little about how we didn't want to leave.

I honestly had the best time at LeakyCon and I am still very much in the midst of my post-LeakyCon depression. I’ve definitely got the bug and am hoping I’ll be able to make it to Orlando for next year’s LeakyCon. In the UK there is a bit of a stigma about conventions, but honestly I consider it to have been just as good as any festival I’ve ever been to. And inside, with you know, beds.

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