Tragically, the cake cafe where we had breakfast on Saturday doesn't open on Sundays, so we couldn't hve breakfast there. We ended up in the Boulangerie RF Long and her family,m which was a consolation.
Then, as there was some sort of convention going on at the hotel it seemed reasonable to go to a panel or two...
I started with "Ethics in YA Fiction"; the panel included Michael Carroll, author of the 'Quantum Prophecy' series, Peadar Ó Guilín (the author of 'The Inferior', which I belive involves teen cannibals) Siobhan (who is a knitter and linguist, and may well have other qualifications I know not of) and Clare Hennesy
The panel started with discussions about what can and cannot go into books marketed for children, Michael Carroll explaining that on the basis of concerns about the sensibilities of some parts of the USA, he has had to excise the occasional "damn" or "Bloody" from the books, and has therefore invented his own expletives. There was also some discussion about age banding and labelling and how libraries are (at least in part) trying to cater to those parents who don't know what might be suitable for their child, rather than trying to censor books.
The panel then moved towards issues which I found more interesting - some of the ideas and presumptions that may be found in (some) books - one example given being that in the Harry Potter books, there appears top be the idea that 25% of wizards are evil, based on selection at age 11. I had to leave at this point which was a shame, as it felt that the panel was just getting on the area I found interesting...
My second panel was Lorraine's panel "Neil Gaiman: Behind The Curtain" - which sadly clashed with Brian's horror panel, which I should also have liked to attend. Lorraine talked about her job, and answered questions from the floor, Including revealing that she had initially said No to Neil doing "13 Nights of Fright" (Because he didn't really have time), but relented when he explained he had always wanted to come out of a coffin....!)
I thought it went well, although the room had a bit of a problem in that it seemed to have only two possible settings as far as heat was concerned - very stuffy & overheated, or frigid. . .
I stayed on for the next panel, which was about invented and inventing languages, and worldbuilding, which was fun - wandered on into issues of Irish accents/language on TV.
As if to make up for no panels yesterday, today was pretty busy. Straight after the language panel was a panel about the Care and Feeding of writers, which featured Lorraine (of course), Parris, (GRRM's partner) Pat Fanning (R.F.Long's husband) and Ted Lee (C.E.Murphy's husband). Topics covered included The Importance of Feeding Your Writer, Socialisation and Human Contact, lots of anecdotes -very interesting to hear about the writing habits of different writers. I think for me one of the most amazing was Ted saying that Catie wrote her first book while on trains commuting to and from work. How impressive is that?.
Parris spoke with feeling about how absorbed and un-distractable George can be - she once got fed up and went in to tell him that that the tyrannosaurs were invading and the volcanos erupting, and got a "good...." and "fine, in a minute" reply. . .
I noticed a number of nods of recognition from the other panellists!