Sunday, 28 March 2010


I've been a little remiss regarding my blog. I got sidetracked by the edit of the Demi-Monde 1: Winter and then wanted to finish Demi-Monde 2: Spring in order to make sure that all the hooks and eyes I need to inform 2 were all present and correct in 1.

So I've been a little busy and some thing have had to slide. But I'm back in the saddle now.

Over the next few blogs I want to touch base on:

The WHC;

Editing; and

Viral Marketing.

So to begin. Quercus were very generous in inviting Nelli and myself to the World Horror Convention 2010 which was being held in Brighton this year. Although I've been to literary festivals before I'd never been to a fan-led convention so it was great to be able to stick my toe in the water and see what lies in wait for me post-launch of DM 1 in January next year.

I suppose coming from a pretty formal business background I'd gone expecting the publishers and authors puffing their books to be doing it in a slick way but it wasn't like that at all. It was a convention run by Fans who simply wanted to get up close and personal with their favourite authors and hence it had a very laid back feel to it. It sorta drifted.

The nearest parallel (one suggested by Nelli) was events organised by the jazz community which we went to a lot when Nelli was in chirp mode. It did remind us of jazz festivals nearly all of which had a similarly loose feel. I had always put that down to jazzers being a little intense (in a non-very-intense way) about their passion and, of course, with jazz being very much a minority sub-set of music there's never any money available for swank and swagger.

But it's different for SciFi/Fantasy/Horror. From what John Jarrold (more anon) told me this genre represents 10% of the book market so it's quite serious business-wise. I guess its just the way the fans like it, but from my part it will take a little getting used to.

The BIG thing about going to WHC was that I finally got to meet my agent, John Jarrold. Now John has been my agent for high on thirty months, he's pitched two of my books and has landed me the contract with Quercus so it's been a busy and fruitful relationship and in all that time we've never met. I guess 95% of our interaction has been on e-mail with just a few frantic moments concluded by 'phone. Now the one thing I've found is that e-mails stimulate mild paranoia - the 'what is he REALLY saying' syndrome - so it was good to meet face-to-face. Fortunately he turned out to be a good guy: if Nelli and Kit and Ellie like someone (which they did) then that's the Rees Sign of Approval. I still can't see him fronting a shootin', hollerin' blues band though...

Anyway it was a very useful meeting and we got quite a few things ironed out - not least of which is what I'm going to be doing with myself post-DM (I'm aiming to finish them this year) and we chewed over a few ideas re pre-launch marketing,

Nell and I (plus Kit and Ellie) went to the Quercus party on the Saturday evening which was excellent (well done Lucy!) and I got to meet Tom Fletcher (and his lovely partner Beth) whose first book for Quercus is out at the end of April. He was a really nice bloke who I think will do well: he actually LOOKS like I always imagined a writer of Werewolf novels should look, all dark and brooding. Very Edgar Allan Poe-ish (though a damned sight better looking). His book is called 'The Leaping' and I have it on good authority that it's excellent.

The other surreal moment was when one of the guests there actually knew who I was! Lucy from Quercus had put a flier about the DM into the WHC goody bag and this lovely lady had acually read it. It gave me quite a start.

Well, that's it for tonight. More tomorrow.


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  2. The WHC was really very exciting, especially looking through the goody bag and finding the Demi-Monde leaflet, which was beautiful, big and made out of thick paper, so impossible to miss!