Until recently, I have always shied away from doing appearances at book festivals. I prefer intimate classrooms to big venues where I can just chat, tell a couple of stories and jokes and hopefully help empower the audience to become dedicated readers and writers . With my move into mg novels, though, I decided to take the plunge and this year I was invited to do an event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I spent days trying to plan what to do, making a power point presentation and rehearsing my talk. In the end I just decided to chill out and what do what I normally do: jokes, stories and snippets of interesting info, both from history and about the writing process. And it worked!
I was really lucky to bump into that intrepid old-hand-at-this-game in the hospitality yurt before the event. I mean best-selling international author Philip Ardagh no less. He set my mind at rest with his amiable chatting. My interviewer was the brilliant Ann Sandman, who asked all the right questions.
There's something magical about being surrounded by people who are passionate about books, in a city that celebrates arts in all its form. My trip was a fantastic experience, we sold lots of books and I got to spend time with my awesome niece Faye who came down from Aberdeen to meet me. I even introduced her to the irrepressible Philip Ardagh.