8 May 2013 proved to be a fairly monumental day for me.
(I know, I seem to be having a lot of those of late. This seems to be an occupational hazard!)
Here’s a hint:
It was monumental because it featured my first ever contracted author appearance. Yup, rather than ‘just’ presenting myself for a book signing somewhere (not that there’s ever a ‘just’ about that!), I had signed a contract stating that I would turn up on the specified date, at the specified time, for the specified length of time, bringing along my person, my books and a talk.
The event in question was the Lincolnshire Literary Life session, featuring myself, Claire Kinton, David Zelder, Joff Gainey and Helen Hancocks. Gill Hart had structured the session into three stages.
First of all, Gill invited us all to introduce ourselves to our audience. Thus we discovered that Helen illustrated the story of Penguin in Peril as part of her degree show, and that the words came later. Joff brought along his suitcase of memories and explains how that inspired him to write Sleeping on a Cloud. Claire shared the tragic inspiration for Dead Game, and David had everyone hanging onto his every word when he shared a traumatic experience that helped him make the events of Yomping Outside so authentic.
And me? Of course, I laid my cards on the table with regard to my inspiration. (I’m not shy like that, LOL. Not anymore!) You know, my strange, inexplicable but undeniable love for rock stars. I earned myself a few laughs, which made my day, and people seemed intrigued by the fact that I blame the writing of Sophie’s Turn entirely on my husband.
Meet the Author
Introductions over, Gill moved us into the ‘free socializing hour’ where attendees were welcome to have lunch or to grab the opportunity to chat with the panel of authors, peruse books, and buy them and have them signed. I’m pleased to report that the attendees didn’t rush madly out the door for their food and drink. Rather, they milled about speaking to us, finding out more about books and buying a few, too.
I loved this part of the session best, I have to confess. I adore meeting new people, readers, fellow authors and aspiring writers alike, and I never once left my stall to grab a drink. (Thankfully, Gill kept coming round with cups of tea and muffins ~ thank you!).
After the meet-the-author time, Gill reconvened us for a guided panel discussion. She asked us authors about our experience of going into print ~ whether independently or through a publisher ~ and the audience was quick with questions about the publishing industry, but also our writing process in general. It was a wonderful and animated discussion and before we knew it, our time was quite literally up!
See You Next Year?
The general consensus was clear: let’s do this again next year! This is Lincoln Inspired’s first edition and in my humble opinion at least, the audience’s and authors’ reactions make the session a huge success. I sincerely expect that this reflects the Festival as a whole. So therefore… here’s to a fabulous 2nd, 3rd, 4th….. and nth edition. Rock on!