This time tomorrow I should be at Eastercon, on one of my first panels as a ‘pro’. I’m a bit ambivalent about this, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, though I (or rather my hard-drinking, role-playing, costume-wearing alter ego JW) went to a lot of cons back in the mists of the last century, I’ve only been to three since 2000.

Secondly, for the last six weeks, Beloved has only seen me when I’ve emerged from t’garret to fulfil bodily functions, and if I’m going to have to take time away from writing, my first choice would be to spend it with him. He’d happily come to the con with me, but finances do not permit this. (All right, so I’m not going to take time away from writing, at least not entirely; the page proofs for Principles of Angels arrived yesterday, and if I’m going to get them back to the publishers on time I’ll need to work on them over the weekend – probably in the bar, given I don’t have a hotel room.)

And then there’s that whole being a pro thing. When I arrive I’ll be straight in with a reading from Principles of Angels at 11am, then another panel immediately after that.  Actually I’m less worried about the reading than the panels, where I have to seem erudite and interesting next to people who actually are; at least with the reading I’ll have the words in front of me, and it’ll be interesting to see whether I can still do this stuff (I went to the kind of school I, sorry one, was required to take RADA spoken English exams). I could have done without the cold that has currently turned my head into an snot factory though.

I’m sure I’ll be fine, and probably have fun, and hopefully not make a complete eejit of myself. However, if anyone wants to help with those first two objectives whilst scuppering the third, just buy me a drink.

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