We went to LFCC as usual for my birthday treat.
It was chaos this year. They added in YALC – young adults literary conference and they woefully underestimated how many extra people would attend for the authors. We had Early Bird tickets but still didn’t get inside until gone 10am because the queue outside snaked all the way around the building [Earl’s Court 2] twice! When we left at around 3.30pm there were still somewhere around a couple of hundred ‘on the day’ ticket buyers lined up outside waiting to get in.
It was also busier because it was the last appearance of Stan Lee at one of these events. The queue for his photo session started 2 hours before he arrived and took up half the hall. When we started the lines for Derek Landy and Malorie Blackman – who had been placed right next to the photo booth for Stan – the whole of that end got blocked up. The floor walkers asked us not to stand around and were amazed when we said we were in line for the authors. They hadn’t organised virtual tickets for the authors and clearly didn’t expect people to be that interested in queuing for them. I can’t believe they put three such big names [albeit in different circles] into such close proximity.
Organisation was much worse than usual all round. With so many extra people inside, it was unbelievable that one set of rest rooms were unavailable because they had been blocked off by stalls and photo booths.
Normally it is hectic and crowded, but a fun experience. This year it was mostly just frustrating. We spent so long in line for people – some of whom we didn’t actually get to see as they went off for talks/photo sessions before we got to the front of the line – that we didn’t even get a chance to look at more than a handful of the stalls, which in any case we couldn’t get near for the crowds.
Sadly we didn’t get Summer Glau’s autograph as by the time we got in, the virtual tickets were at 857. She’d only got to 570 at 5.30pm according to someone on Twitter. That girl sure is popular!
I did manage to get David Hewlett, though that took til nearly 3pm [ticket 269] He was lovely. The guy in front of me was asking about the possibility of more SGA. David said ‘unlikely’ and started talking about the proposed movie trilogy. The guy and I agreed we didn’t like the whole ‘ignore the series’ idea of those movies.
So then I told David we were keeping Rodney & co alive in fanfiction. I gave him a Rodney-centric chapter from my story which is a crossover between SG-1 and Quantum Leap.
David said he loved Quantum Leap and that he was interested in getting into the whole fanfiction thing as he’d heard so much about it from fans, including crossovers with all sorts of other series. He asked if my story was online and I said not yet as it was still a WiP. I explained that as a crossover it was to a certain extent an AU. I didn’t think he’d actually read it, but told him it might help with the insomnia when his Bratlett keeps him awake. He said the bratlett sleeps soundly, he’s the one that stays awake. He didn’t commit to reading the extract, but said that if he did, he would tweet as to whether or not I’d got the character right.
Fingers crossed for some feedback!
Then, since I knew we couldn’t wait around for Summer, and Dominic Keating was sitting next to David Hewlett with no queue at all, I thought I might as well get his autograph too.
He’d looked over when I was in David’s queue and caught my eye so I mouthed ‘you’re next’ to him and he smiled.
I have to say he looked somewhat frail and thin. I hope he isn’t ill.
I commented that I couldn’t believe he didn’t have a queue. Dom said that he’d done a lot of these events and everybody who wants one probably has his autograph already. He was amazed people still came to him at all.
It must be disheartening when the guy sitting next to you has a queue halfway down the room. He said that he’d not seen David at one of these events before and that was probably why he was so popular.
I said ‘well, we still love you’ and he seemed genuinely moved. He thanked me and said ‘love you too’.
Such a sweet man.
While waiting for David’s virtual line to get into my ticket range, I got an autograph for friends of Becky’s from TJ Thyne from Bones. I don’t watch the series – not anti, just never got around to it. TJ may have made a convert of me. He was absolutely charming. He welcomed everyone with a smile, a hug and a ‘how are you?’ He said he liked my hair and joked that his normally looked like it but he’d tamed it for the con. He chatted amiably, even though it was clear I wasn’t personally a fan, and included me in the freebie handouts of ‘business cards’ for the character, an on-set photo and a couple of plastic bugs – a spider and an ant – for Ann-Marie and Linda, who I explained couldn’t make it. He chatted to me about the stars I was going to visit and wasn’t in the least offended that I wasn’t there for him. He hugged me again when I left. A lovely, lovely man.
Despite the disappointments, I’m still glad I went.
I hope they decide to make YALC a separate event next year, but if not I’ll think very carefully about how much I want to meet the guests before I commit again. Maybe it was just because we went on Saturday instead of our normal Sunday. We’ll see.