What a brilliant weekend!
I attended the Festival of Writing at the University of York, England, for the Saturday and Sunday of the three-day event. And it was great.
Along with Lyn Vernham, of Choc Lit, my fellow Choc Lit authors Christina Courtenay and Jane Lovering enjoyed a panel presentation about Choc Lit, the way we each love Choc Lit and became a Choc Lit author. The audience were deeply involved, questioning us closely about our views on our heroes and what Choc Lit wanted from heroes – being irresistible, basically – and how we’d each found and created our own. Of course, we all took the opportunity to talk about all our books and love the covers and generally wallow in the pleasure of being a choc lit author.
Other highlights of the festival, for me, were Carole Blake and Patrick Janson-Smith’s double act at the Central Hall (pic) and the panel of independent publishers, who showed a remarkable resilience and optimism about the state of the industry. Or, at least, their part of it. Indies are so nimble that they can react to change and innovation.
I met up with lots of old friends and made some new ones and also enjoyed doing a little ‘book doctoring’ in the one-to-ones. The Festival provides SUCH a huge number of one-to-one opportunities that the conversation over meals and tea breaks was all about what this agent had said and whether that publisher had asked for a full manuscript. It’s an incredibly valuable service.
The meals were lovely – although I was heartbroken to discover I’d missed chocolate mousse on Friday evening – and I rose at the crack of dawn to watch the Australian Grand Prix from Albert Park, Melbourne, before launching into Sunday’s activities. (Lyn was wonderful and brought me bacon butties!)