Making Hay … and we did
While I had attended many writing events, the first literary festival I attended was the Hay Festival in 2010 when we were launching Gentle Footprints with the lovely Virginia McKenna.
What a week that was. We stayed in the most glorious B &B on a farm a few miles outside of Hay and were there for the whole week leading up to our event on the Friday. Well Gill and I were — my family and Nicola (who used to work for Bridge House) were to join us later in the week for the event.
I was completely absorbed into the whole ‘bookishness’ of it all and to top that the slowly building sense of excitement at our special event that fizzed softly in my stomach. Gill and I would drive in every morning after a lovely breakfast, taking in the glorious countryside and then we’d go off to various events, some of them together but mostly different and then meet for coffee and later lunch and afternoon tea to mull over who we’d seen and what book we’d bought and so on. We played Guess the Author when we watched people walking with purpose towards Pendletons Book Shop with their rose (all the guests are presented with one). By the end of the day we’d be weary and ‘all booked out’ and would stop for an evening meal en route back. We’d collapse into our beds and be raring to do it all again the next day. So we did!
Gill had decided to give a book away a day over the week and one night after a lovely meal we went into an old church where we left a copy of Disasters and Miracles. It’s the Bridge House retelling of famous bible stories but from another viewpoint, that we both had stories in. I think we signed it and left it for someone to find.
And then the fizz turned into a buzz with the arrival of the parents, my brother and Nicola and our amazing event. I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. We had no idea we how big the venue was until earlier that week when we realised just what a headliner the lovely Virginia was. All week I had wondered about the famous guests and what the green room was like and indeed how they got to the bookshop so fast for signings after their events. All this was to be revealed as I accompanied Virginia and her lovely assistant Lauren. Of course there was the Book Show at Hay and front row seats earlier in the day when Mariella Frostrup interviewed Virginia about my book. Proud. Proud. Proud. Our little collection was discussed and she even mentioned as favourites mine and Pauline’s stories. Wow. And of course that’s how we met the lovely Brian May who features so prominently in Virginia’s animal life now.
I will talk about our launch event another time, in fact I talked about it at the time I think on the Gentle Footprints Blog — here’s the link: LINK
Why am I reminiscing? Why not?
I will be back there with Gill in 2 weeks time, only for the weekend this time, but after the Commonwealth Event on the Friday, Gill and I will be spending the day together attending as it happens this time the same events on the Saturday and I can’t wait. I will also get to meet my publisher (always wanted to say that!) … so a trip down memory lane once in a while is a great thing … and now it’s time to make some more memories.
I’ll leave you with some photos of that wonderful day in Hay …
Life is an adventure — what will be next?
Have a great weekend everyone!