Signing my life away.

I remember January. It fell somewhere between the misery that was Christmas and now. March. I can’t believe it’s March.

This means two things. One, I’m late with at least two writing projects. Two, it’s Black Library Live this Saturday.

Last year’s BL Live was the first time I attended an event with the express purpose of signing books and swanning around being all author-ly. Back then, I hadn’t written all that much for Black Library. Reparation and Beneath the Flesh were out as eBooks, but unlike Aaron and Dan, I’d yet to be asked to deface a Kindle. So despite the oversized placard with my name on it, few people knew who I was, and fewer still stopped by for a signature.

Luckily, my lack of fame gave me a great chance to play with my new iPad. While the other authors were busy signing books, answering questions, and generally living the rock-and-roll lifestyle I’d long coveted, I managed to write a short story – Immortalis.

Consequently, at the Black Library Weekender, I went prepared with my MacBook; (Apple have long been conspiring with Starbucks to take all of my money). Scheduled for six hours of seminars and signings I was positive I’d get plenty written. At the very least I’d organize my iTunes library and clean out my dropbox folder.

I was wrong.

At my very first signing there was a long queue of people that saw me signing for 70 minutes solid. 70 minutes! I haven’t held a pen for that long since my English exam in high school, and even then I was mostly doodling.

My seminars, which I had anticipated being a chance for the seat cushions to plump themselves back up, were well attended, and not just by the the cohort I’d dragged in for moral support (thanks Nic, thanks Chris, you too Aaron).

I was stunned. Honoured even. It seemed having a book with a giant Flesh Tearer on the cover had done wonders for my street-cred. Not once, over the entire weekend, did I have a spare moment to reach for my laptop.

Black Library Live then, was very definitely one of the highlights of last year.

Sadly though, I didn’t take a single picture at the event, leaving me nothing but my memory, an unreliable and temperamental beast, to remind me of its awesomeness. Even Google, my one-stop saviour, didn’t seem to have much in the way of photographic evidence.  Though a quick search for ‘Andy Smillie Black Library Weekender’, returned this:

Me at Weekender 2012

I’ve no idea what had me looking so perplexed. Submit your caption ideas as comments on this post. There’ll be a prize for the best one, probably.

For those of you who missed the event or like me, would just enjoy the chance to relive it in pictures, here’s a selection of images that you can take to be close approximations of what actually happened, ish.


The Weekender was held at the Nottingham Belfry, a venue so awesome it could only have been made out of Lego.


As soon as the doors opened, the hotel was overrun by a horde of frothing fans.


The limited edition anthologies, like snuggly hoodies, were in high demand.

Lifestyle Adults

No one in the singing queue wore the same shade of denim, which made it easier to tell them apart.


Although the two-tone system worked well for the seminars, making it easy to tell author from fan, I do hope that next year I get to be a nice pastel colour. You know, something better suited to my Scottish complexion.


Universally Challenged, Saturday evening’s quiz, saw Dan, Aaron, Gav, Graham, Jim and Chris Wraight do battle. I’ll let you decide who’s who.

Hopefully, I’ll see a bunch of you this weekend at BL Live. If one of you could bring a camera, that’d be great.