Writing Groups in Devon


Blog posts : "exeter"

Report on Exeter ComicCon 2018

Well, I’ve just come back from the first Devon ComicCon at Exeter University sports campus. I must admit the sports facilities at Exeter University were extremely impressive, all sorts of sci-fiesque heavy black machines lined the windows. You could not tell if the athletes were separate entities or just part of the machine, a cyber-athlete fusion, in perhaps an echo of future sport?

The ComicCon was run by Lisa from Moose Events which are always a pleasure to go to- you know it’s going to be well organised, with plenty of space between exhibits so we won’t all die if there is a sudden audience stampede. I had two helpers on my Torcian table – my daughters Sapphire and Jasmine, their support was wonderful. Sapphire actually drew the map of Torcia for me, which as usual had many admirers and several photographs!

There was a table top gaming zone and computer gaming zone which looked fascinating but as I was there to share the world of Torcia, I could not go off and play, which was rather sad. However, I did get squirted by a velociraptor which was quite a unique experience… There was one lone Storm trooper on patrol throughout the entire event but luckily for him/her no resistance fighters or they would have been in trouble. Interestingly enough there was no dinosaur-Empire fighting either.

The costumes from the cosplayers were magical. There were no Boxtrolls but a group of people who had invented their own world of furry creatures in a rainbow of colours. I always support creativity and individuality, so I was delighted to see such furry self-expression. Captain Jack Sparrow was also tottering around sans bottle, apparently all the rum had gone, which was a great shame. 

Some of the costumes were very impressive. There were two estate black shirted security guards complete with body vest and personal incident recorder cameras on their vests, who patrolled the building and car park. They had most realistic costumes of the day, but I couldn’t place their series at all, which was weird as I know my sci-fi. I thought it might be an indie horror. Obviously, I had to find out this unknown series. So, I caught them up and had a chat to them and found out they were actually university security guards sporting some pretty cool uniforms. They were lovely people and I left them taking pictures of the prop police cars. Exit stage left.

I had some almost old friends visit my fantasy table which was great. Old faces from some of the ComicCons I have attended throughout the year. It’s always lovely to catch with people like the impressive nuclear psychist Viking, the pizza delivering blue squirrel, the Welsh photography family, and many wonderful fantasy fiction fans.

I also had the great honour of Daniel Eghan, the Star Wars actor, giving me a limited edition signed poster which now has proud of place on my writing inspiration wall, as I do admit to having a slight lifetime Star Wars obsession…

To find out more about Torcia visit -

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A Slice of Pi-Life by Jenny Kane

Last night I spent the evening talking to the Exeter branch of the Pi-Society at the Hotel du Vin in Exeter - and my head is literally buzzing.

After a delightful two hours in the company of friendly, intelligent and joyful people, I am riding high on one of the privileges of being a writer. There are few perks in this profession; little money, no days off, no spare time, frequent bouts of insecurity and more disappointments than it would ever be sensible to count- but we do get to meet a wide range of amazing people. For me this is one of the highlights of the job- and after just two hours with the members of the Pi-society - I feel lucky to have met each and every one of the people who’d turned out to see me despite the hail and gales that hit the city last night.

On my arrival to the library in the Hotel du Vin, I joined the group sat around a big round table (wine glasses full and at the ready), and the event began. We broke the ice with a discussion about our favourite books and reads, and then we were off! I answered questions about books, writing, and my rather diverse career- from archaeologist to erotica to romance, to historical crime- for the next two hours. The evening simply flew by.

Before I knew it, the time had come to sell a few copies of my books, and we were preparing to face the elements of the cold and wet winter night once again.

I’d like to thank Nicky Dunn for inviting me alone to the Pi-Society, and the whole group for making me feel so welcome.



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The Bampton Charter Fair Experience

Last weekend the Exeter Authors Association were in action at the Bampton Charter Fair. This was the first time authors have been invited there for over 500 years so we have a lot of history to make up for. We shared a hall with the lovely people from the LARCS and it made for a chaotic, busy day.

The children's authors and entertainment section proved very popular with our special guest Ollie in a toga bringing ancient history to life. K.Y. Eden gave a fascinating insight into the writing of the Redcroft Journals trilogy and into the crazy life of a fantasy author.

Jenny Kane as always delighted her fans and sold out of most of her books. Fortunately, they are still available online. The Circle of Spears drama company gave a thrilling installment of their play WITCH... which completely stopped the tea chatter. John Hall gave a fascinating talk about researching and writing his terrorism based novels and a possible research trip to Oman. Richard Dee read one of his scary short stories and Richard the second or Richard Lappas to his fans regaled everyone with tales of Princess Diana and the Queen. 

P.J. Reed came in her performance poetry guise for this event, leaving her high fantasy and horror writing for more sinister times, and read her new poem regarding 'Colin the nearly new neighbour'.  Brian Willis, another performance poet from Tiverton entertained with his new selection of Gothic poetry.  Jeni Braund sold many copies of her Heartland poetry book in aid of the Anthony Nolan charity. All in all in was a fun-filled. action-packed day! 

If you missed seeing the Exeter authors they will be on display at the CreaTiv Hub, Fore Street, Tiverton, Devon from  Tuesday 28th November to Saturday 2 December with free goodies, cookies, a free draw and an amazing selection of books!

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