Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Helen-in-Black at Worldcon

The Sorting Hat has gone down to the wire this time, but I now have a result--thank you all for your patience as well as your support for "Helen-in-Black" and the Supernatural Underground!

And the winners are (drum roll!):

For "The Heir of Night":--


For "Thornspell":

Giada M
Sharon S (The hat loves you, Sharon!)

Best wishes to you all--and dont' forget to check in again on 1 October for the Grand Launch of "The Heir of Night." I'll be looking forward to catching up again.

Well, here I am. In Melbourne, Australia (aka "the Lucky Country."); 1500 miles from home, but still about 10,000 miles away from those northern hemisphere hubs, London and New York. Tomorrow I'll be attending Worldcon, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention—or Aussiecon4 as its more affectionately known. And impressively (given those distances), meeting a whole lot of people from various regions of the northern hemisphere—mainly the US, Canada and UK, but also places as diverse as Japan and Finland, to name but a few, as well as the "local" Australians and New Zealanders.

I'll also be meeting representatives of both my US (Eos) and UK/AU/NZ (Orbit) publishers for The Heir of Night, for the very first time, during the five days of the convention. (My Thornspell publisher, Knopf, won't be at the Con.) Exciting times all round—but not without its predicaments.

Here's the thing—I seriously love color. Bright red, hot pink, electric blue: these shades all star in my wardrobe and some items are so treasured that they feature much careful mending. But when you travel, there's this little thing called airline luggage limitations (it's a 1 x 23 kg case to Australia)—and because every item has to work well in at least 2-3 combinations to earn its place, the more colors you add to the mix, the weightier the bag gets.

Me, I really like to travel light, so over the years I have found that the most efficient way to pack is to just take all one color, because then you know everything will mix and match. And when the chips are down, if you're going to wear all one color, you just can't beat black. Because actually, black is cool. Although if you've trained in the martial arts like me, you'll know that black isn't just beautiful, it's also the only color that counts. In fact, where I come from, black is so much the real deal that most of our national sports teams wear just that—and our most famous sports team is even called the All Blacks.

So when I laid all the different clothing options out on the bed, ahead of the packing, and thought of all the contingencies I needed to allow for (I mean, Melbourne, spring …!), then surveyed that one small suitcase, I already knew what was going to happen. Besides, isn’t writing Fantasy about tradition and destiny—and not only do I hail from the land of the All Blacks, but there's also Neil (never-seen-not-in-black) Gaiman to be considered, and what about Johnny Cash? Put in that context, the arrows of destiny were all clearly pointing in the one direction. Even the radio was against me, with the Rolling Stones urging me to "paint it black."

Call me fainthearted, but tradition and destiny are both compelling forces. So here I am, in Melbourne, with 5 days of Worldcon ahead and meeting my publishers and a whole bunch of other people for the first time—and all in black. (OK, OK, I did sneak in that electric blue shirt, but otherwise …)

So what do you think? Have I done the right thing, opting to stay within my luggage allowance and make my Worldcon debut as Helen-in-Black? What would you have done, in my (um, black) shoes?


Because I am in Melbourne I might not be able to check in with you as often as I otherwise would, but just to help the discussion along, I'll be giving away another 2 x copies of the gloriously colorful Thornspell and 2 x AREs (courtesy of my editor at Eos, the lovely Kate Nintzel) of the darkly brooding The Heir of Night—and it's the usual deal: the Thornspell draw will be for Supernatural Underground readers anywhere in the world, but only posters from the USA/Canada can go in the draw for the Heir AREs.

You can earn points (i.e. the number of times your name goes into the draw) by:

+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 Linking to this post on Twitter
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook

+1 Linking to the Supernatural Underground blog on your own blog/website

+ 1 for commenting on my
Helen Lowe on Anything, Really blog while Worldcon is on, i.e. between today and midnight, September 6.

Just post the total number of points that you’ve earned in your comment.

Eligibility will close at midnight, EST on September 6, the day that Worldcon ends.

(Do remember to check back, or to post your email with your comment so that I can get in touch.)

And of course next month, 1 October, is Release Date for The Heir of Night in the USA/Canada so I'll not only be posting but there'll be special giveaways as well!


Giada M. said...

I LOVE to wear black, so I think you did the perfect choice.:D I've trained in the martial arts, too (karate and judo).

I'm an international reader.

+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 for commenting on my Helen Lowe on Anything, Really blog

Total: 2

Thank you for this chance!

Giada M.

fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

Sharon S. said...

G'day (is that how you say it )

Black is definitely the way to go. Packing lightly is more important when traveling long distances. You could have done the bright scarf thing to add color.

I would love to win Thornspell since I already won Heir of Night from you . And by the way peoples, it is wonderful!

3 points for me

SusanKMann said...

Black is my favourite colour, I love it.
I'm an international reader and I would love to win this. 2 points for me, commenting and facebook x

samantha.thomson said...

Black is the way to go!
1 for commenting

Pamela Palmer said...

More and more I've been packing black, too, though I've yet to go the all-black route. I'm heading that way, though! Black is such a perfect color for dark spec fiction writers.
Enjoy the conference, Helen!

Jeremy said...

Wearing all black is fine but I always pack everything which can get crazy.

+1 comment
+1 link to facebook
+1 link to Supernatural Underground on my blog
+1 commenting on your blog


Lea @ The Yearning Mermaid said...

You´ve done the right thing. Nothing beats a black just can´t make anything wrong with it!

1 Entry in total


Libby said...

Black is like a neutral canvas that can be accessorized with vibrant scarves, pins, necklaces, camisoles, etc.

Van Pham said...

i love wear black too, and sometimes i try to mix in some colors because i had a person asked me if i hated colors haha.

+1 comment


Raellafox said...

I tend to wear more back than not. I LOVE the way it makes me feel, so sleek! You have done the right thing Helen!

+4 total

+1 Here
+1 your blog
+1 facebook!/profile.php?id=1365769490
+1 twitter

Raellafox said...

sorry make that +4 total :))

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Pop of color is great with black. I think you did well. :)

Have a link on my blog for this site: Books and Things

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

I love wearing black. Black is a good color. Especially for writers of the supernatural. I mean when writing with that category, wearing black is like the uniform! Several of the covers of these books have the heroine/hero wearing black in some form.

Supernatural Underground button on blog.

2 points total


Midnyte Reader said...

You mean there are clothes that *aren't* black?

Thank you for the contest!

Llehn said...

Black is the easiest thing to match :D


Claire Dawn said...

My Mom is all into black. I'm a pinker myself. Have fun at Worldcon!

Helen Lowe said...

Thanks for the support--black seems to be working well so far :-), and don't forget that I'll be giving Melbourne updates on my "Helen Lowe on Anything Really" blog over the next few days. The first one, on my first few days in Melbourne, went up on the blog earlier today and I hope to squeeze in time to do a few more--although with 5 panels, a reading, a kaffeklatsch and two book signings I'm going to be pretty busy!

Great to read all your posts today--and don't forget that the competition is good until the 6th, when Worldcon finishes.

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

I think you did great Helen, especially sneaking in the electric blue shirt. =) I do the same when packing. Either go with black or browns. Helps keep down on the shoes too.
Have fun at Worldcon!
I already won Thornspell, Thank You again, but would love The Heir of Night. I'm looking forward to release day!

+1 Commented
+1 Facebooked
+1 Linked SU
+1 Commented on your blog

Total 4

Katie Dalton said...

Black works just fine! You look good and I think thats a cute nick name. :)

Salsta said...

Wearing black in Melbourne, you'll fit right in.

Karyn Gerrard said...

I think you picked the right color, black is cool. Have fun!

+1 commented

Casey H said...

I love wearing black. I usually put so vibrant color scarf with it (or something like that so I don't look like I'm in mourning).

+1 for commenting
+1 for linking to S.U. on my facebook

nymfaux said...

I think I'd have done the same in your (black) shoes--I hate carrying (or paying for) any more luggage than I have to!--But I'm really curious now--If all your traveling companions have the same idea, I hope it doesn't end up looking like everyone is going to a funeral!!!!

Good thing you have the electric blue, just in case :)

Since I already won Thornspell from your blog, I'm crossing my fingers for Heir of Night!!!! :)

+1 comment
+1 tweeted:
+1 facebook:!/moviebunny?v=wall&story_fbid=145009855536903&ref=mf
+1 blog link (sidebar):
+1 posted on your blog

Helen Lowe said...

Hey all you super Supe posters--if you check out my Helen Lowe blog you'll see I had a fun time in black and electric blue (and it was ok, there were lots of very colourful folk there so it didn't look like a vampyre or Goth reunion :-)) There're a couple of advance photos up on my blog, too, but definitely more to come.

Just to let you know that I am flying back to NZ tonight and one of my priorities--besides post earthquake cleaning up--is to get the "sorting hat" onto sorting competition winners. So keep watching this space and 'Helen Lowe' and I'll have the results up some time Wednesday--hand on heart, I promise!

(I got a special 'owl' from the sorting hat to say that it had survived the earthquake and aftershocks safe and well.)

nymfaux said...

Congrats to all the winners!!!