I’m back home now from a weekend in the US, at the Baltimore-based Dr Who convention, Regen Who. What a delightfully well-organised show it was! I had a fabulous time… beginning with our journey out there, through a myriad of chatty panels and readings and talks… and hilarious conversations in the bar and over dinner and in conference rooms… to the very highpoint of the con for me – which has to be my panel with Katy Manning, in which we talked about Iris Wildthyme and she performed a small, new scene which I had written especially for that day. What a thrill to hear it brought to life on stage beside me, in front of all those lovely fans!
There were many brilliant moments in this Con – orchestrated so well by Oni Hartstein, James Harknell and Craig W. Matthews and their army of helpers – including my chair and the Mistress of Chat, Kara Dennison. I spent much of my time with my mate George Mann, and we had a great many laughs – and some brilliant book-shopping, too – in the gigantic Barnes and Noble on the bay, and in a perfect used-book store we discovered called Book Escape… where Kara and George scored about a dozen 1990s New Adventures novels. (How serendipitous is that..?!)
It was my first US Dr Who Con. I’ve done one or two UK ones in the past, and it’s so nice to be invited and to realise that people really want to hear about the things you’ve done and written. Not just Dr Who, either – people want to know about ‘Baker’s End’ and all the other things I’ve worked on. The big surprise for me of the weekend was just how many people came up and said how much they loved books I wrote almost twenty years ago – ‘The Scarlet Empress’ and ‘The Blue Angel’ – books that were actually pretty difficult to get hold of in America.
The weekend was filled with happy new encounters and reunions and also, meeting with people I already knew very well from social media. Friends like Bret and Syd, who I’ve known for so long via Facebook and a number of collaborative projects – but who I’ve never actually been in the same room as. How magical to sit drinking beer in a bar in Baltimore as if we’ve always been friends. There were also marvelous times and conversations with people I’ve always thought I might enjoy meeting.
Anyway – happy times and places! And some very happy memories. It was the kind of weekend that, though tiring, sends you back to your normal, rather quiet working days in your study, with renewed vigour and glee.
Thanks, all involved. I had a blast!