Fierce Fantasy Night @Waterstones Norwich

On Monday evening I got to attend the exciting Fierce Fantasy Night at Waterstones Norwich. I was really looking forward to the evening – the panel featured all female authors whose work I was a big fan of, or at the very least followed on Twitter and enjoyed their online personas. Authors Twitter accounts are wonderful!

The panel featured Christine Lynn Herman, Sarah Maria Griffith and Adrienne Young. I finished Christine’s novel, The Devouring Gray, the day before and was enthralled by it, so couldn’t wait to hear her speak. It was the sort of novel I would like to write; full of eerie powers, diverse sexualities, and it takes place in a creepy, isolated town. I’m already desperate for the sequel!

All three authors were absolutely lovely, and although I hadn’t read work by Sarah or Adrienne, their novels have risen to the top of my TBR list. I stopped reading Sarah’s second novel, Other Words For Smoke, to write this blog post. (It’s brilliant so far). The trio discussed the similarities between their works, and their writing backgrounds and different processes. I live for that kind of thing, I adore hearing how creatives go about producing their work, and what got them started with their creative journeys.

All three writers felt very connected to, and aware of their readers, which was something that I really appreciated. As a reader, it’s lovely to feel understood and respected by those who are creating the stories that you love. I also really enjoyed the couple of quirky questions that were thrown out to the panel by the host, such as the question of what the main characters from each novel would be doing if they were in a regular coffee shop in 2019. The answers were pretty varied and funny!

I didn’t approach any of the authors after the panel, as I find it incredibly difficult to craft the words that I want to say to those whose work I admire, but I still left feeling very content with the evening. The eloquent discussions about writing craft provoked some interesting thoughts that I’ll carry forward with me when both reading and writing, and all three women were as delightful as I’d hoped! It was also by first time attending a panel that took place in a bookshop, and I found that this environment really heightened how comfortable and at ease I was being at the event. Although part of that may be that I generally want to spend more time in bookshops (always)!

A huge thank you to the lovely Lou at Waterstones Norwich, who arranged the tickets for myself and my friends to see the panel – we all had a fantastic time and I’m even more excited for upcoming events now!

– hatterell

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