This is a diary of my weekend at the Gallifrey One convention in LA.
Thursday 12th February 2009
I arrived at the Marriott Hotel feeling very jetlagged at 8.30pm LA time. We'd been travelling all day, gone through various time zones and to our body clock it was actually 4.30am. But as we walked in we were greeted by the lovely Steve Roberts and his adorable partner Sue Cowley - who screamed and whooped in delight to see us. It was then we saw all of our British friends and the next few minutes were spent hugging them.
We checked in and went to our room to get changed and came back downstairs as soon as possible, determined to stay up if we could in order to beat jetlag.
I met an array of terrifc people in the bar: Benjamin Adams and his girlfriend Kim Pfeifer; Ed and Jen Comstock and their son Jeremy. All of whom spent many hours with us over the weekend. Then Dan McGrath, our friend from UK, gave me a big hug followed by a fabulous greeting from fellow writer Simon Guerrier. This was an amazing start to the weekend.
My friend, the comics writer Tony Lee, looking suave, was talking to Simon Guerrier and another writer, Rob Shearman, so I floated over and gave everyone a hug.
Eventually tiredness caught up with us and we had to crash, but that was ok, because we had a long day looming for Friday.
Friday 13th February 2009
We met up with friends at breakfast and spent the morning chatting to other convention goers. The convention wasn't officially starting until the opening ceremony at 6pm, but there were several panels from 1pm. There was a panel with Doctor Who and Sarah Jane Adventures writers Phil Ford and Keith Temple at 1pm. Gareth David Lloyd and Kai Owen(Torchwood stars) question and answer session. A classic Doctor Who Panel at 3pm had such acting greats as Colin Baker, Wendy Padbury, Frazer Hines and Nicola Bryant. Followed by a Q & A with Who Producer Phil Collinson and a 'Just a Minute' quiz hosted by Paul Cornell.
This is just a small portion of the talent that appeared on the first day as there were several other panels running back to back with these.
That evening, after the opening ceremony, we went out with our friends for sushi at a little place in Hermosa Beach. It was a lovely meal, and great company.
Unfortunately I had no energy for the late night toga party or the Karaoke Kafe (shame because I love karoke) when we got back to the hotel and we called it a night at around 11pm after more drinks in the bar.
Saturday 14th February 2009.
Saturday was a full day at Gallifrey One. Lots of socialising and attending panels. Here are some pictures of the Telos Publishing 2009 panel, which was a great update of the progress of Telos and their current titles. This was introduced by my partner, David J Howe, Telos' MD and author of over thirty fiction and non-fiction titles. David presented a fantastic trailer for Silver Scream 1, written by Steven Warren Hill (who also created the trailer) and he along with Arnold T Blumberg (Zombimania) and Chris McKeon (Time's Champion - co-written with Craig Hinton) were present to discuss the content and motivations of their books. It was a nice surprise to find in the audience another Telos author, Jon Preddle, who is currently working on Telos' next book, Timelink.
After the panels we set off to Dark Delicacies , a fantastic horror bookstore in Burbank, for a signing at 3.30pm. Ben and Kim drove us to Burbank - which turned out to be an hour away because the traffic was so heavy. Hence we arrived a little late, but that didn't matter too much, as the signing before us 'Strippers with Corpses Magazine', (don't ask - if you think you know what this magazine is about I expect you're right!!) was over-running. Eventually we sat down and the signing commenced. When I left I only had 7 copies of my book remaining which was a great result.
I was signing with David The Target Book, Arnold T Blumberg Zombiemania and Steven Warren Hill Silver Scream 1. Everyone did really well and I believe that all the Telos Publishing books were sold. We also had a very positive conversation with Del, the shop owner, who invited us to return any time we're in LA. Be careful what you wish for Del, I have every intention of returning next year!
Following the signing we made a hair-raising trip back to the convention, I was supposed to be on a panel called 'When did Vampires become Trendy?' But unfortunately the LA traffic foiled us again and I didn't make it back - which was very annoying because Amber Benson (Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was also on the panel. We arrived back 10 minutes after the panel finished. I couldn't even stroll in 'fashionably late'! So, I was in trouble with Tony Lee (who was on the panel as well) for not appearing - Sorry. I won't do it again, honest.
I had to do a mad dash through the reception then to change for the evening. This was harder than it seemed as I kept seeing people I wanted to talk to and I had my picture taken several times on the way.
It was Valentine's day and so that evening we went to a lovely restaurant in Marina Del Rey with Kim and Ben. Here's a picture of our romantic dessert.
Sunday 15th February 2009
Final full day at Gallifrey. I had a visit from my long standing internet friend J.R. LeMar who joined us for breakfast and then spent several hours with me, keeping me company while David was busy doing panels. This was a great time to socialise again and I spent many hours in the lobby with various people joining us. Tony and Jane Kenealy came and chatted for a while, as did Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury. Also the lovely Ed and Jen, and Kim and Ben briefly, because unfortunately they had to leave that day.
This was a sad day, as a lot of people left the convention early because of work commitments the following day.
Later I briefly commandeered a table in the hallway and sold some more books, and the remaining 7 copies were all gone by the end of the day. It became fashionable (a trend started by the irrepressible Steve Roberts) for me to sign with a lipsticked kiss as an extra convention signature. So there are several personalised copies out there with my lip print adorning the inside!
Sunday night, following the emotional closing ceremony, we went to dinner with Tony and Jane, then returned to the hotel and stayed around socialising with Frazer, Wendy, Ed and Jen, Tony and Jane and Jennifer. This is where we met the lovely Emily Danyel who has taken on David and I to see what we can achieve together and is now our USA Events Manager.
So all in all, Gallifrey was great fun and a huge success! Can't wait for next year ...