Benedict Cumberbatch

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Recap

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I got back from San Diego Comic-Con Sunday night. Here it is Wednesday morning and I’m just starting to feel human again.

This was an interesting year for me at SDCC. I might even go so far as to call it pivotal. Not to wax philosophical, but I learned a lot about humanity this year. And about myself.

The biggest highlight was Random House giving out advanced copies of NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE at their booth. That was a real milestone. I was able to sign a few of those ARCs for people as well, which was a total blast. Blows my mind to think in just a few months my book will actually be out in the world.

Another highlight was the friends I made over the course of just a few days. This year I befriended two awesome guys who write for Bleeding Cool, a stem cell biologist, a geography professor, a producer for Disney, an opera singer, an astrophysicist. Really wonderful and generous people. I even camped out with some of them overnight on a sidewalk to get into Hall H for the Hobbit and Marvel panels. Nothing quite as bonding as sharing sidewalk space for 12+ hours. I really hope to see them again next year.

And then, of course, there were the celebs. I got to see Benedict Cumberbatch, had a very brief and funny encounter with Guillermo del Toro, got a photo taken with Adam Baldwin, met Stampy Longnose (my kids freaked out!). Just awesome all around.

There were a couple of things that happened this year that opened my eyes to the uglier sides of humanity, too, and brought up a lot of conflicting emotions inside. Through these situations I learned I’m stronger than I think. They also made me examine how much I’m willing to allow people to hurt me with their words and actions. My instinct is always to extend kindness in the face of inconsiderate and critical people. I learned some valuable lessons this year on protecting myself, protecting others, knowing where lines are and to stand up for myself when they’ve been crossed. I may blog more about this later. Not sure.

Despite that (or perhaps in light of it), I had a great time at SDCC14. Here is a gallery of photos I took along the way. (The Avengers pics are blurry, sorry. The place was insane. And I may have been shaking.)

Tomorrow I’m off to LA for the SCBWI conference, and I’ll have lots to say about that when I get back. In the meantime, hope you enjoy these photos.

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I finally made it to the Tucson Festival of Books! And it was awesome.

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For years I’ve heard my friends rave about the Tucson Festival of Books, but always had something else booked (ha) for the weekend.

Until this year. I finally made it. And all I can say is, wow.

Much like San Diego Comic-con, my friends had warned me how big an event it was; but until I got there and saw it with my own eyes, I really had no idea.

It was huge.

And they brought in a whole bunch of incredible authors to talk about books, writing, publishing, promoting…all kinds of good stuff.

While there I met a ton of awesome authors. Chuck Wendig. Anne Perry. Cornelia Funke. Lois Lowry. Nicole McInnes. Page Morgan. Matt de la Peña. Suzanne Young. Sam Sykes. Kevin Hearne. Kristen Lamb.

I also got to meet fellow Class of 2k14 member Christine Kohler. How cool is that?!

Don’t even ask how much money I spent on books.

One of my favorite moments was getting to hear  Rebecca Eaton talk about producing Masterpiece. Let me start by saying: Rebecca Eaton is a class act. So knowledgeable, well-spoken and gracious. The audience was full of Downtown Abbey fans. When she mentioned Sherlock, I was the only one who clapped. Okay, it was actually more of a squeal. *cringe* I couldn’t help it–it’s like a reflex. The audience laughed when I squealed, and then laughed again when Rebecca pointed at me and said, “Oh! A Cumberbunny!” She then told everyone what Benedict Cumberbatch fans call themselves (if you don’t know, google it) which, of course, led to more laughter.

Still, I think I did the Cumber Collective proud when, during the Q&A portion, I thanked her for bringing Sherlock to the US and for shortening the time between the UK and US airing dates. I then asked her if she could talk about how that timing works and if she had any information about Sherlock season 4.

She said there’s a lot of thought and planning behind when the seasons air. If they go with a September air date in the US, they get trounced by the network shows starting up at the same time. This is why there’s been that long delay in the past: they were trying to find the right spot for Sherlock (and Downton) to get good attention here in the states. She said she thinks they’ve found the sweet spot with the January airings, with Sherlock following Downton. She agreed it is frustrating and that she’s aware of the piracy problems, adding that piracy always gives lousy quality. Finally, she said she’d love to tell me when series 4 would start but that she doesn’t know yet. It will depend on Benedict’s schedule, as well as Steven Moffat’s.

At the end I shook her hand and thanked her. It was one of the best sessions I went to during the festival. Her book, Making Masterpiece, looks really interesting.

Here are some pics from the festival. If you ever have the chance to attend, go! It is an incredible event. Best of all, it’s free.

It’s a Sherlock Giveaway!

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What a crazy fun week this has been!

My birthday, my novel revisions done and sent off to my editor, a new pope, the first read-through of Sherlock season 3, Martin Freeman with grapes for eyes, Twitter in a grape quote frenzy, BBC Radio 4 airing the new Neverwhere, and an announcement that there will be a Sherlock season 4.

Edited to add: As if that wasn’t enough, Mark Gatiss just announced the first episode of Sherlock season 3 will be called, “The Empty Hearse.” *falls down, dies*

See? That’s a lot of crazy-fun stuff. I feel like celebrating!

In honor of all the events this week, I’m giving away a Sherlock journal from my Cafepress store, Robots and Rainbows.

sherlock_journal

The journal measures 5×8 and features my minimalist Sherlock design. Inside are 160 college rule lined pages. Plenty of room to write your Sherlock fanfic stories.

TO ENTER: leave a comment below, and use a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t sell your email address or spam you or anything evil like that. Promise.

The winner will be announced here this Friday, March 22.

Please help spread the word to all your Sherlockian/Cumberbabe friends! To make it easy, here’s a sample tweet or Facebook status you can copy and paste:

Enter to win a free Sherlock journal! http://wp.me/pBmxU-OE #giveaway

Stay tuned for the winner! And as always, thanks for reading.

-Amy

Copenhagen: When Science and Story Collide

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Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch (Photo credit: honeyfitz)

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to the adaptation of Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen on BBC Radio 3.

Here’s the summary/description from the BBC:

“Benedict Cumberbatch, Greta Scacchi and Simon Russell Beale star in Michael Frayn’s award-winning play about the controversial 1941 meeting between physicists Bohr and Heisenberg, part of a joint Radio 3 and Radio 4 series of three Michael Frayn dramas for radio – including new adaptations of his novels, ‘Skios’ and ‘Headlong’.

Copenhagen, Autumn 1941. The two presiding geniuses of quantum physics, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg meet for the first time since the breakout of war.

Danish physicist Bohr and his wife, Margrethe, live in Nazi-occupied Denmark; their visitor, Heisenberg, is German. Two old friends, now on opposing sides, who between them have the ability to change the course of history.

But why has Heisenberg – Bohr’s former protégé – come to Copenhagen?

Michael Frayn’s Tony award-winning play imagines the three characters re-drafting the events of 1941 in an attempt to make sense of them. A powerful exploration of the uncertainties of human memory and motivation.”

I found this production so fascinating! (And no, not just because it was two hours of listening to Cumberbatch’s voice.) The story is a swirl of science and interpersonal relationships. It touches on strong emotions but never gets heavy-handed. It is both minimalist and vivid. And my favorite part: the structure/writing, which at first is disconcerting, evolves into a form or example of the very subject matter Bohrs and Heisenberg tangle with throughout the play! *kabooom* There goes my writer brain. I LOVE that kind of meta, self-referential literary trickery.

If, like me, you enjoy when science and story collide (ha), you might want to give this production a listen. I highly recommend it.

You can listen to Copenhagen at BBC Radio 3. (Be warned: how long that link will be active, I don’t know.)

Looking for a sample synopsis? Here’s one from Star Trek!

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I just came across this and had to share. Paramount released the first glimpse of the Star Trek: Into Darkness storyline. Not only is this really exciting news if you’re a Trekkie (or a Benedict Cumberbatch fan *cough*), but it’s also a great example for writers of how to write a brief synopsis.

From the post “Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)” at Rope of Silicon:

SYNOPSIS: In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man (Benedict Cumberbatch) weapon of mass destruction.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Isn’t that a great synopsis? Makes me think of that Nathaniel Hawthorne quote: “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

For those slaving over synopses and looking for examples, I hope you find this helpful.