I hope I caught your attention with my witty title. I didn’t really scold Eoin Colfer, it was technically 13 year old me from the past. For years I have known in various scenarios that the World Science Fiction convention was coming to Dublin. I was aware of the bid but forget to check the status of it until at Octocon 2018 (the national Irish science fiction convention) I realised we had got it. Membership was bought, off we went. I also didn’t realise I would end up cosplaying Crowley from Good Omens yet.
The wait seemed long, the journey was longer but finally it was here. How do I even begin to describe Dublin 2019? Can we begin with my dreams coming true? I grew up on the Artemis Fowl books, I planned on marrying Artemis Fowl and I wrote Artemis Fowl fanfiction. So meeting Eoin Colfer was my main and first concern. See attached image of my battered copy of said Artemis Fowl, signed and with an apology. All jokes aside, Eoin Colfer is a wonderful, witty man who deserves your attention.
Besides Eoin Colfer, I met Joe Hill. The. Joe. Hill. He happened to be passing and I (very awkwardly) approached him and he came over to us and spoke to everyone. I met him again the next day at his signing which was awesome. The majority of my interactions with all the authors were very positive and it was great because this is what I went for. It really helps when you do meet your heroes and they are cool people.
There were many wonderful panels as always with these kind of conventions. Some of my favourites included a panel including Colfer, Holly Black and Fonda Lee discussing the writing of villains in YA. Another that was food for my soul was a panel totally focused on Tamora Pierce and the world of Tortall. I was so happy just geeking out about Pierce for an hour with longer term fans. A huge standout for me was the premiere of ‘Troll Bridge’ made by Snowgum films based on Terry Pratchett’s short story of the same name. The fact I saw the premiere of a fan funded Discworld film at my first World Con felt like a sign of fate. Let’s talk about publishers and ARCS.
Holy hell, I not only got invited to a party organised by Orbit Books (thank you again Orbit for having us!) but I got to go with my dear friend Sara over at Not Another Book Blogger . Sara is a friend I have made over time attending different conventions and just both having the same tastes. She has also helped me so much with this blog so many times. I honestly couldn’t have enjoyed this week the way I did without her. Thank you Sara for being both my con family but my fellow book buddy, my confidant and just my support for all this scary con stuff. You’re the best and none of this would have been the same without you. ♥
But yes, publisher party! It was so fun to meet authors on a one to one basis and just be chill. Well, I had no chill. I asked Fonda Lee how satisfying it was to punch people (she does martial arts I swear) and R.J Barker about his wonderful wedding ring (its pretty okay. I’m a big magpie). Also I ate many cakes, and met many bloggers face to face! Imagine, meeting each other offline! Then, somehow I got my first ARC. Someone (Harper Voyager) saw my mad head and said yes we can trust her. I am completely shook and keep eyeing it on my shelf. ‘The Girl and the Stars’ by Mark Lawrence comes out in April 2020.
The best experience of all of this was the people. Conventions are what have allowed me, a once loner with very big insecurities and few friends to someone who can finally feel like I am comfortable being in my own skin. That feeling of ‘my tribe’ is something I have happily found here. I’m free to love books, finally write my own blog and just feel like I belong to something. This was the best five days I could have asked for.
Thank you to all the staff at the CCD, Dublin 2019, the volunteers who helped do the hard work of running each day, the committee who have been running this behind the scenes for years, all the authors, artists and vendors who made their way to this event and the list will go on. But most of all, thank you to books, to reading and to my con family for making this the best holiday I could have asked for.
Please see photos below of me sniffing (YES SNIFFING) an ARC of Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff, photos with amazing authors, an angel who sauntered vaguely downard on to a throne of Irish bloodshed and a blogging sheep. I told you there was a sheep.