Minggu, 16 Juni 2013

Felixstowe Book Festival: reporting back

Well, what a wonderful weekend!

Elaine and I in the lovely ex-stable venue

Felixstowe Book Festival may be in its first year, but you wouldn't have guessed it from the polished organisation, public enthusiasm, and general success of the weekend.  It certainly looks encouraging that there will be many more, and I would definitely like to go along to future years.

I should report back on my talk with Elaine - I'd decided that I would be happy if there were 6 people in the audience, so I was delighted with 14 - particularly since they were an incredibly friendly, engaged audience who seemed genuinely interested, and (what's more) laughed at our jokes - for example, Colin, you got a mention with your comment that you "read Stuck-in-a-Book, except for the bookish bits".

Our talk was about book blogging in general and particular - how it fits in with traditional media, how we got involved ourselves - and then onto the changing opinions of publishers towards bloggers (we especially cheered on the forward-thinking enthusiasm of Bloomsbury) and meeting people from the internet.  We were a bit nervous that we hadn't got enough material, but we needn't have worried - since Elaine and I have known each for so long, we were able to bounce off one another, and add in extra anecdotes and comments in turn.  All in all, I'm very pleased with how it went, and want to thank the audience for making it such a fun experience - and, of course, thank lovely Elaine for asking me to participate.

Elaine, me, Linda

In that audience were two online author friends, Guy Fraser-Sampson and Linda Gillard.  It was lovely to see Guy again, for the third time I think, and his talk on E.F. Benson's family and Mapp and Lucia was sublimely funny (as is the second Mapp & Lucia book Guy has written, Lucia on Holiday, which I read this weekend and will post about soon.)  And I finally got to meet Linda, having known her online for, gosh, the best part of a decade - and, of course, loving her novels. We had a lovely long chat, and it was an absolute delight.  It was a good weekend for meeting online friends, because I also met a lovely lady called Daphne, who has been an online friend for about as long as Linda, I believe - and is an absolute scream, I must add.

Daphne also asked me, after I'd spent a couple of hours browsing the two excellent secondhand bookshops in Felixstowe, whether I'd bought anything.  I think she probably knew the answer anyway.  Treasure Chest Books (the one I remembered from a trip to Felixstowe aged about 16) had a sale, so that most of their fiction was £1 each. I came away with quite a haul... all will be revealed in my next post!

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