So I know it’s been a while since I posted but life has happened lately and my routine has literally been eat, sleep, work, uni for the past 2 months. But this weekend, I finally got a break and the ensuing antics involved the one and only Supanova Expo on sunny Queensland’s Gold Coast. Centred in the middle of one of Australia’s most sunny beach laden areas, it was guaranteed to be a good weekend regardless of whether I enjoyed the Con itself.
The weekend started off with a trip to the Qbd Bookshop signing stands where the absolutely, postively amazing Victoria/VE Schwab was in attendance *insert epic squealing here*. Armed with a literal bag FULL of her amazing works, she gratitiously worked her way through the various titles (and multiples) while happily chatting away about her current tour and her wolf/vampire/celestial being of a dog, Riley, eating anything and everything she can find but limiting the destruction to a single item per day. Honestly, if you ever get the opportunity to meet this beautiful soul, jump on it with all your being for she will brighten your day exponentially with her infectious smile and otherworldly knowledge of all things fiction.
Next came the inevitable working down the table of amazing authors, each signing their life away while having a chat to their fans, new and old. Seasoned academic and writer of powerful teenage girls extraordinaire, Jodi McAlister occupied the coveted seat of sitting next to Queen Schwab (such an honour!). She signed and personalised her Valentine series of novels right before letting me take a kind of atrocious shot of myself with her for my socials. While I already own the first of the series as an ebook, it made me absolutely ecstatic to finally possess physical copies of these punchy works of art.
Rachael Craw, author of The Rift and the Spark series of novels, was in attendance and was absolutely amazingly sweet when it came to my lack of knowledge of her earlier work. (Let me tell you right now, I am so very angry at myself for having not read her Spark series – I picked up the first of them at the onsite bookstore so as I could get it signed and take it home to read. I proceeded to inhale half of its 460 pages of amazing following the end of Day One’s prceedings and went back on Day Two to buy the others and get them signed as well…). After a quick happy snap, it was onwards down the line to what has to be one of my favourite repeat Supanova offenders, Corey J White.
Let me tell you something, publishing couple Corey J White (author of the Voidwitch Saga) and Marlee Jane Ward (author of the Orphancorp novellas) are just the cutest, most amazing people to chat to. Full of advice on all things Sci Fi/Spec Fic, I absolutely adored chatting to these guys. As you may know, I met Corey J White last year and based on his personality, immediately purchased his Voidwitch Saga. Partner Marlee is just as amazing and following various random run-ins throughout the day will now forever be a trusted advisor on all things female author related.
Lynette Noni was her usual beautiful self, signing my copy of Vardaesia, the epic conclusion to her Medoran CHronicles, and giving me ALL THE CHARACTER PINS!!! A frequent visitor of the Supanova scene, she swiftly and efficiently burned through her growing line of fans with all the grace and poise of an author with five times her experience (looking at you Queen V). If you want to read a series that’s kind of like if Narnia, Harry Potter (mainly Hermione) and ?X-men had a baby, I highly recommend Akarnae.
After some lunch (yes I was chatting to the authors for almost 2 hours) it was on to panels! First up was an individual panel with Queen Victoria where she discussed all things Schwab related. MC’d by Lady Parts podcaster, Aimee Lindorff, the conversation covered a massive range of topics including that she loves murder (her words not mine), the followup series to her Darker Shades of Magic, Threads of Power (yes there are still people who don’t know), the fact that she writes series so as people only WANT more rather than NEED more and the fact that she deliberately writes women that she knows people will think are unlikable. She compared her writing to a house where she closes most of the doors and answered all the burning questions from the crowd, including the origin of her Transylvanian wolf cross buzzsaw Riley.
Next up was a panel relating to the definition of SF within todays world of publishing with Alan Baxter, Corey J White and Marlee Jane Ward. Covering the difference between science fiction and speculative fiction, great SF novels that have stood the test of time and what it means to write SF within the current climate, this was a truly amazing panel. Once it got to fielding questions from the crowd, endless recommendations for great female authors were given and the seperation of hard and soft science was discussed.
A panel featuring Lynette Noni, Jodi McAlister and Rachael Craw rounded out the day in style with the role of Powerful Women in Fantasy and Horror: Part 1. This panel was an absolute inspiration with each of these amazing ladies discussing their views on why women aren’t celebrated more. McAlister picked apart the tropes surrounding female villains, explaining with all her academic poise that there really are only 2 types of women generally seen – those who are evil because they are jealous and those who are evil because they are the ‘other woman’. Questions involving Ripley and Sidney Prescott were answered with zeal and humour and Buffy was discussed. A LOT.
By the end of Day One, I was absolutely exhausted and exhilarated by the events that had unfolded. Alas fate had one more surprise for me – Bookstagrammer and good friend Jayse gave me an amazing video call. Tired and hungry I answered the call sitting on my hotel room floor looking like some sort of half human, half zombie only to find that on the other end was author of What The Woods Keep, Katya De Becerra. To say I was embarrassed is an understatement but honestly the woman is amazing. By the end of the call, everyone was laughing and I have some amazing bookmarks incoming.
Day Two brought more panels, more fun and more books. Victoria graciously signed yet another novel for me as a gift plus volume one of her Steel Prince comic (she is hella talented), I returned to the QBD tables with an armful of Rachael Craw novels because frankly I’m a little addicted and I thought I would take the plunge and purchased all the Alan Baxter titles that QBD had in their store. Part two of Powerful Women was MC’d by the amazing Aimee and featured Queen V, Jodi McAlister with her academic analysis, Marlee Jane Ward cynical extraordinaire, Nancy Holder – author of so many Buffy novels and Rachael Craw with her unique insight into her squishy by strong women who take over her narrative.
By the end, I was once again exhausted and have literally come home and ripped open my laptop to debrief to all you lovely people of my amazing weekend. Now if you have stuck around this long, I commend you because honestly this has been a slog to write, so many marvellous occurrences have taken place that now I swear I need a holiday to get over my holiday… So until next time my lovelies!