A blog event . . .
The idea of holding a blog event would have sounded quite odd to me twelve months ago. That long ago I was only just coming to terms with Facebook and LinkedIn, followed by the dreaded 140 characters of Twitter. But on the lookout for ways in which to reach a readership, I came across ‘how to make a book-trailer’ on Nathan Bransford’s blog. Of course I couldn’t on my own, because technology and I don’t speak in the same language and so my brother (who runs a production house) did it to my brief. After that I felt ‘challenge’ biting at my heels and on reading all my favourite historical fiction blogs, came across the amaaaaazzzing vvb32 who seems to run brilliant events on a weekly basis.
And I had this absolutely ridiculous moment where I thought ‘I want to do that’, and announced a Masked Ball event on Mesmered. Then I had to run wailing to my two friends Rebecca and Pat, BEGGING them to help. The three of us are scattered across the world: Pat in California, Rebecca in Maryland and me in Australia, so communication was vital and communicate we did! Our in-boxes were full on a daily basis as we swapped images, sent new chapters of the novella to each other and generally gossiped. Then Rebecca happened on the idea of a chat-room and we met every few days, down to every day in the last week, in our own private chat-room where we conferenced to a form of agenda and solved problems and planned and plotted.
Amazingly in respect of the novella, the only time we actually planned the plot was when we discussed how we all thought it should end . . . for the rest, it was true Chinese whispers, a story literally told off the last line of the latest upload. That was such fun on reflection and we are going to polish it up with an edit and run it through Lulu just so that we have a printed copy for posterity for ourselves.
But being organised creatures who have all tackled the business world in various ways, we approached the event as a business, as an event, and in the end it all went well. Of course there was the notorious vanishing image fiasco which put us under such duress in the last week that I frankly wondered if our hearts and minds would stand the strain. But our guests were so lenient and understanding and three hours (it was meant to go for 2), later, we all fell out the door of the imaginary Ca’ Specchio in the imaginary city state of Veniche, in the imaginary world of Eirie, having had a most wonderful time.
In order to run the event we had a time-schedule as I would have in the days when I worked in radio and that gave us a loose guide, and of course we had our programme. And we worked with our chat-room open as well, so that we could talk to each other about ‘live’ needs and demands.
Personally I doubt I could do another one . . . even though it was inordinate fun. My own writing ceased to exist. In fact life outside the Ball ceased to exist . . . sometimes I needed to get outside just to remember that life isn’t on a computer screen. Other things claim me now. Not the least is the need to continue on the edits of A Thousand Glass Flowers and on the first draft of The Shifu Cloth. I need to concentrate and focus on my own writing if I am going to progress further. But the one thing I am grateful for is the thing we call friendship and I feel blessed to have made strengthening bonds across the world.