FantasyCon, book tours & the Scary 2nd Book

First up, the programme for this year’s FantasyCon has just been announced & I am delighted to be part of this event again. It’s been organised in no time at all by the amazing British Fantasy Society team after the original organisers cancelled it & I am in awe of the work that must be going on behind the scenes right now.

For anyone interested (and for me to screenshot so I don’t forget), my programme looks like this:

Saturday 17th September

  • 4pm in Atlantis2 – Climate Fiction
  • 8pm in Discovery3 – British Fantasy Awards ceremony
  • 9pm in Endeavour – Reading from The Way The Light Bends

Sunday 18th September

  • 11am in Atlantis1 – Folklore and Fairytales
  • 1pm in Atlantis2 – Writing the Difficult Emotions

If you are coming to FantasyCon, please come say hi. I promise I’m nice & I may have books. Also, I will be a quivering wreck at my reading as I’ll have just survived the excitement of my three BFA shortlistings, so I deny all responsibility for my emotional stability during that session.

Photo of the hardbacks of both my books on a scarf on the lawn, backlit by sunlight & with a wee blue ceramic hare alongside.

OKAY. Moving on … my second book was released a few weeks ago & I realised I hadn’t written anything on here about that. So … first of all, a moment to appreciate how incredibly lucky I have been with BOTH my book covers. Luna Press have produced the most perfect, beautiful covers for these books and it makes me a bit mushy to see them sitting together on my shelf!

Last year we had a book tour for This Is Our Undoing that … didn’t entirely work. A fair few of the readers on the tour were, let’s say, not the target audience for the book and just didn’t click with it. (The weird thing with booktours is that you can’t follow advice not to read reviews because you’re generally tagged in and meant to engage!) So that week was a steep, hard lesson in dealing with meh reviews, and definitely put a dent in my confidence throughout publication week.

But it served me well in some ways, in that it’s quite freeing to learn right out the gate that a) I can survive a bad review and b) the book will still find readers who love it. I mean, two BFA shortlistings isn’t too shabby, is it??  

This year, we had a tour for The Way The Light Bends with the lovely folk at Insta Book Tours, and it was a whole different experience! So many positive, beautiful reviews; so many readers’ tears; such a friendly vibe to the whole tour. There was one comment that came up a few times (about the ending) that I’m tempted to write a blog exploring because the subject of endings, resolution and folklore is one that interests me from a craft perspective. But that’s for another day. Today I just wanted to share some of the review comments and thank Victoria Hyde for organising such an uplifting tour.

Image of the cover of Light, with four quotes reading: I've never read a book where the first paragraph absolutely shattered me. The way the author writes about grief is mesmerising.' 'Cinematic and gorgeous.' 'So beautiful, draws you right in from the start & keeps you gripped.' 'A beautifully written heart-breaking tale, weaved in with folklore and mystery.' All this is against a backdrop of dark, moody water.

I was honestly quite nervous about how Light would be received. Because of Undoing’s blog tour partly, but also and contrarily, because some reviewers have been such amazing champions of Undoing and I didn’t want to ‘let them down’ with my second book! It’s a very different story to Undoing, so I was worried they would be flummoxed and disappointed, and that they’d be disappointed in me for following up with something they liked less. I know, it’s stupid, but I’m excellent at finding ways to catastrophise nothing at all, so there.

Imagine my relief then, when one of those amazing reviewer/champions of the universe had this to say about Light:

This is Wilson’s second book and I thought their earlier novel This Is Our Undoing was one of my highlights of last year. Now this one easily becomes one of this year’s best reads. Sublime character work; a wonderful sense of place and crucially displacement creates a spell-bounding tale giving us characters that we get to love and care about or even fear for. Wilson is very much an author to watch. Strongly recommended!

Runalong the Shelves

I know. I’m giddy as a kipper. Read their full review here. And now I need a cup of tea to recover.

photo of my stripy kitty, sleeping on a stripy footstool on his back, both forelegs stretched up above his head and his fangs on display. He looks very relaxed and a little bit weird.

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