Saturday, 20 September 2014

A meeting of minds and a reading.

The lurgy is persisting...but I'm gradually feeling better. I've been left with a chest that sounds like a snare drum whenever I cough and a really husky voice, which didn't help on Thursday...

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Wednesday, I attended a Local Author Event at my local Waterstones - a chance to meet up and chat to fellow authors. I met... Kerry Young, author of Costa shortlisted Pao and the sequel Gloria. M.P. Wright, author of Heartman, due to be televised next year. Jake, the 7 year old Blue Peter silver badge winner, who'd produced a book about his Granddad's death to raise money for charity. Mohammed, the 13 year old whose book I'd helped to edit and illustrate. A lady in a fabulous red top hat, who'd written a half-and-half fiction/non-fiction book about Rochester. A neighbour from my street, who'd written about Cottons, a local mill. Peter Skillen and Amit Kainth, who'd each written self-help/secrets to success books. A student who'd brought his work on Kindle to share. The family who'd produced a series of children's adventures about a doggy MI6 agent...

Me, my neighbour, the top hat lady and Amit Kainth, who
kindly allowed us to use his photos

The 'Local Author' table...Granny was in good company!

Just some of the authors, towards the end of the event.

There were others too - I didn't get round to speak to all of them - but what I found really amazing was how many writers you can discover in a relatively small locality. Makes me wonder how many more you'd find, hiding in studies or sheds or at coffee house tables if you were to really look...

At times, it felt a bit like preaching to the converted; writers love books already. We especially like telling people about our own books - but the timing of the event didn't really allow us to talk to many members of the public. And of course, there are issues around selling books - especially if you're a relative unknown - in Waterstones. But. The fact that the local branch was willing to even offer such an opportunity is a huge boost to writers in and around Loughborough, and I applaud Neil and his team for hosting us. Fingers crossed it may spark a few more literary events in the area...

Thursday saw me in Leicester for the second launch of KLiCBait vol 1. About 30 people took their seats in the back room of the Parcel Yard to hear four extracts and the whole of the story that was set in the pub we were in. When the hand-held mike failed, it got a bit more difficult to hear over the normal pub convo - the Parcel Yard is a huge warehouse of a place, with echoing ceilings and wooden floors - but we managed. There was a rather interesting shuffle forward when it was my turn to read, because my voice is suffering at the moment and if I try to speak loudly, I end up having a coughing fit. Fortunately I got through my (egg-timed at home to practise) 5 minutes without a hitch...and a very up-close-and-personal audience!

Think I'd just done my reading when this was taken -
hence glass of wine in my hand!
Now, I may have mentioned this before - but I don't half pull some funny faces when I'm reading. Perhaps it's 'cos I'm concentrating so much, but I do seem to be a frowny reader!

There are more pics of the event and the other authors over on the KLiCBait facebook page...

Friday, I wrote some more for Granny Rainbow. I've decided to give myself a break from StarMark while I grapple with a way forward, so I'm concentrating on Granny 2. Short pieces, easy(er) to complete and get into a format for publishing, while my head muddles through how I can address the issues that've been raised about the opening of StarMark. I've a couple of things I want to try, but I think doing it now might be more of a knee-jerk reaction than a considered, writerly approach.

And today - well, son's at Splash Camp with the Scouts, hubby and daughter are on a hiking day in Derbyshire, so I have the joy of the washing up, hoovering and getting school shirts ironed ahead. 

Or maybe I'll just write...

Have a good weekend, all, whatever you're up to! 

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