Praise for Twisted Tales Events

'In the past few years Twisted Tales has become a major force in the promotion and appreciation of horror fiction. As well as putting on author readings and signings at bookshops it has expanded into organising larger events, bringing authors and critics together for discussions of the field. I've been involved in quite a few of both and have found them hugely enjoyable and stimulating - I believe the audiences did as well. May Twisted Tales continue to grow and prosper! If you love the field, support them! I do.' - Ramsey Campbell

‘Twisted Tales consistently produce well-organised events for writers and readers of horror. What really distinguishes Twisted Tales for me is the intelligent themes and investigations they pursue, and the high quality of the discussions they always stimulate. As an author I've been invited to three of their events and have been pleasantly startled, to near shocked, by the attendance levels - two out of three were even sold out. I salute anyone who contributes so much to the literary and cultural life of horror fiction.’- Adam Nevill

'Twisted Tales events are wonderful... a great way of promoting 21st century horror fiction. Supported by Waterstone's Liverpool One and really well organised, Twisted Tales brings together established names in the genre as well as new voices and of course readers. Looking forward to much more to come...' - Alison J. Littlewood

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Alex Davis interviewed by David McWilliam about Alt.Fiction

Alt.Fiction is kicking off in a fortnight, for its fifth year, with a fantastic weekend for readers and writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror. It brings together some of the UK's leading talent, and presents a two-day programme of readings, panels, workshops, film, podcasts and much more, giving you the chance to hear from your favourite authors, find out more about the world of publishing and learn more about the writing process. It's truly a weekend not to be missed for book lovers and writers alike.

This year’s Guests of Honour are bestselling science fiction author Alastair Reynolds and acclaimed comic book writer and novelist Dan Abnett. They will joined by speakers Tony Ballantyne, Keith Brooke, Mark Chadbourn, Stephen Deas, Paul Finch, John Jarrold, Juliet McKenna, Mark Morris, Adam Nevill, Mark Charan Newton, Sarah Pinborough, Robert Shearman, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Conrad Williams, Chris Wooding and many more. Full details, including ticket prices and contact information can be found at the foot of this post.

Our own David McWilliam caught up with festival Co-ordinator Alex Davis to ask him a few questions about Alt.Fiction and how it's developed over the years. 

DM: What is Alt.Fiction? How did it begin?
AD: Alt.Fiction began life as a one-day science-fiction, fantasy and horror event, and kicked off in 2005 when I was working for Derby City Council. Alt.Fiction ran for three years as a Council event, and always had great support from the arts team at the time. When I left the Council, that obviously left a gaping hole in terms of delivery, but luckily enough Writing East Midlands were aware of the potential of the event and were really keen to get involved. As such, we ran a fourth event under their aegis before kicking things up a notch for 2010/2011, bringing together a year-round programme of events with a bigger and better weekend event as our flagship.

DM: What is your role in Alt.Fiction?
AD: I work freelance for Writing East Midlands as Alt.Fiction Co-ordinator. That means a whole raft of things, and can entail roles including programmer, marketing officer, author liaison, fundraising and all manner of things in between. It's great to have so much support from Writing East Midlands, as it makes a tough job a great deal easier!

DM: Derby doesn't have much of a history when it comes to literary events; what do you consider to be the driving force behind the festival's continued success?
AD: Lots of things really – we've always had great support from the genre community, we've always had a strong base and a supportive organisation to work with and we've had a lot of support from publishers. I also like to think audiences feel in safe hands – I can be a pretty obsessive organiser, which is a good trait in running something like this! If things go smoothly, and people have a good time, then the event can only get stronger. I think Derby in itself is a good asset – we're very central in the UK, and we have a fantastic venue in the shape of QUAD, plus the city is building its cultural side all the time.

DM: When I attended Alt.Fiction, I was struck how outward-looking it was as an event, and how geared it was towards welcoming new readers and writers, as well as established members of the speculative fiction community. Is this something you consciously aim for?
AD: Yeah, absolutely – all of my background prior to Alt.Fiction had been in more general literature festivals and conferences, and essentially I was trying to capture some of that vibe but give it the distinctive flavour that only genre can. I came to the convention scene a bit later, and I have an absolutely huge respect for the work that goes into them and the quality that they consistently deliver. But what I've found is that Alt.Fiction is a great starting point for people who may not be aware of conventions, or are nervous of attending a convention. As such, I think the event is starting to serve an important purpose in getting people to take their first steps into the genre community.

DM: Do you have any last minute surprises in store for Alt.Fiction 2011? If so, can you give Twisted Tales readers some hints?
AD: Our last surprise was just confirming the film programme for this year, which we've been working on with Mayhem Horror Festival, and we've got some fantastic ghost story screenings, a double bill of Val Lewton's Cat People films and an early UK preview of Hobo with a Shotgun, which isn't due out until the end of July, so that's pretty exciting stuff!

Alt.Fiction Festival 2011
Saturday 25th June, 10am - Midnight
Sunday 26th June, 10am - 5pm

QUAD, Derby

Weekend pass £45, Saturday pass £30, Sunday pass £20

Contact the QUAD Box Office on 01332 290 606.

Visit to find out about Alt.Fiction's year-long programme of events.

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