|Yes, that's Lavie Tidhar with Monkey.|
I got in at about half three on Thursday, and was kept company by the station cat while I waited for my hotel-roommate-to-be, the aforementioned Mr Tidhar. Then we trooped over to our hotel, the Beaches, which it was abundantly obvious even from a distance would be much nicer than the rundown holiday council estate that was Pontins Prestatyn. (This would turn out to be a generous assessment in favour of Pontins, which by all accounts was a dire hellhole - whereas the Beaches was all-round lovely. Good call on leaving booking too late to get a chalet, Tidhar!)
|Yes, that's Stormtroopers doing car checks.|
Then Lee opened the celebratory book-launch champagne. Then Paul Cornell turned up. Then, apropos of nothing, they started showing Labyrinth. And truly all was right in the world.
The rest of the night is a bit of a blur - of the catastrophically drunken kind - so jump forward to Friday morning. Friday morning began bright and early with Lavie forcing me to get up for breakfast at some ungodly hour, after about a fifteenth of the sleep my body would have needed to break down all the alcohol in it - an event that, against all reason or mercy, would be repeated over the next couple of days.
|Yes, that's Robert Rankin about to heatray Lavie Tidhar's face off.|
After a brief diversion to attend the Kitschies ceremony (Lavie's Osama being deservingly up for Best Novel), we resumed our acquantance with the pub. As evening settled in, reasoned debate and polite ultraviolence were abandoned once again in face of good, honest liquor. But things took an unexpected turn when we got invited to / possibly inadvertently gatecrashed a party held by one of the big publishers at their big-publisher author chalet (I think it was Pan Macmillan, but the answer seemed to vary on who you asked.) Under the firm supervision of our agent John Berlyne, Lavie and me soon found ourselves somewhere that looked a lot like nowhere in the Welsh countryside - only to be rescued from likely death by our taxi driver coming back to admit that the address we'd given him probably wasn't that of the cat sanctuary he'd dropped us off outside.
|And yes, that's Benedict Jacka's first non-YA novel|
* Whose first non-YA book comes out next month, and looked good enough that I picked up a copy despite my famous cheapness.