May Fringe Podcasts

Got there at last. The podcasts for the May BristolCon Fringe meeting are finally available online.

First up was Sophie E Tallis who is an excellent illustrator as well as a great writer. If any fantasy writers out there are looking to have maps drawn for their books, I suggest getting in touch with Sophie. Her reading is from her latest novel, White Mountain, which is published by Grimbold, an imprint of Kristell Ink. That makes Sophie a stable mate of our Jo Hall. Sophie was very nervous before the event, but I’m sure you’ll agree that she did a fine job.

Next up was Ben Galley, who is very well known online as a self-publishing guru. Ben’s latest series is a fantasy western, and his reading is from the start of the first book, Bloodrush. One of the incentives to get the podcasts online now is that book 2 in the series, Bloodmoon, is being published on Friday. I figured Ben could do with something to use in the PR campaign.

By the way, if you are checking Ben out, do take a look at the graphic novel version of his book, The Written. The artist, Mike Shipley, turned up at Fringe to see Ben, and I think it was the first time the two of them had ever met in person. It’s a really nice-looking book, so well done both.

In the Q&A session I got both Sophie and Ben to talk about the inspirations for their work. Sophie, fairly obviously, talked about Tolkien, but also about Eastern mysticism and the legend of Shamballa. Ben talked about how the Scarlet Star trilogy is steampunk alternate history with fairies. It has trains in it, so I guess I should try Kevin on Bloodrush.

The we got onto a discussion of the pros and cons of being self-published, or published by a small press. There was quite a bit of talk about the problems of getting your books into Waterstones, and why it is so much harder now than it used to be. There was also much love for independent bookstores, as there should be. Sophie managed to earn us an explicit tag for that episode. Of course most of the things that were talked about in the announcements at the end are now over, but there is some interesting news about the Bristol Festival of Literature that isn’t until October. You’ll be hearing more about that in the months to come.

A special guest for the evening was Jo’s dog, Lyra, who was remarkably well behaved, all things considered. Author readings are not really good doggy entertainment.

Last night’s Fringe featured horror fiction from Nick Walters and Ken Shinn. I’m hoping to get those online a little bit more speedily than this lot. Just in case I don’t, those of you living in Edinburgh, or going there for their Fringe, should check out The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which features our good friend Tom Parker as Doctor Watson and Jasmine Atkins-Smart as Holmes. (FeĆ²rag – hint, hint)

The August Fringe event will feature Gaie Sebold and David Gullen. If you got to meet Gaie and David at Archipelacon, you won’t want to miss the podcasts of that.