I’m just back from a couple of days in Dublin for the truly wonderful CBI Festival. I’ll be blogging about it imminently, but until then here’s a roundup of some of the other festivals I was at over the summer!
First up was the Guardian Pop-Up Festival in London, where I ran a zombie workshop. I thought it was a workshop for zombies, so did my best to look the part. But it was actually a spooky creative writing workshop for young writers. Still, it’s always nice to dress up! I even made up a zombie quiz to work out exactly what kind of zombie you are, which was fun. I think I ended up being a demonically possessed zombie who eats nothing but livers and cheese, who travels on the bus, smells worse than a rubbish bin and who spends his days trying and failing to get into the best parties. Which actually sounds a little bit like me…
Livers and Cheese, mmmmmmmmm...
I did a couple of really fun events for the Stratford-Upon-Avon Literary Festival, including one in Shakespeare’s old school. How awesome is that! While I was down there I got a chance to look around Warwick Castle, which looks like something out of Game of Thrones. That’s one of the best things about being on tour, you get to do the touristy stuff!
I did have an audience, honest...
Following that I was down in south London for the East Dulwich Literary Festival, which was thoroughly enjoyable, even though I got totally lost and ended up pretty much jogging up the road in the blazing heat to get there on time. I was NOT a pretty sight when I arrived… (There is a picture, but it will give you nightmares.)
I was back in London for Tales From Moon Lane, one of the coolest and most enjoyable events I have ever done. It was organised by the lovely people who run the shop, and the ever-awesome David Maybury and the CBI crew Carrie and Nicola. There were some lovely other authors there too, including Sarah Webb, whose books my daughter absolutely adores. I was originally scheduled to have a cage fight with Derek Landy, but he was running late (if you ask me, he was just a little nervous about facing me so cowered in his limo around the corner for an hour or so until it was safe to come out) so I did the warm-up act in preparation for his main event. It was SO much fun, and great to be able to meet the legend that is Landy. He didn’t seem so pleased to meet me, though (ask me, that’s just a look of terror on his face)!
Is that fear in his eyes...?
Last, and certainly not least, I was back up in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It’s my absolute favourite festival of all time – an amazing city, fantastic people, enthusiastic audiences, the most wonderful atmosphere, and whisky! This year I was doing an event with Susanne Winnacker, author of The Other Life, chaired by the irrepressible Eve Harvey. We had an brilliant audience of about 200 people, and spent a very enjoyable hour chatting about horror, apocalypses, nightmares, and what our plans were for a zombie invasion (mine involved a sledgehammer and a boat, which in retrospect seems like a bad combination). Thanks so much to everyone who came to see us! Oh, and Susanne’s book is great, well worth a read – guns, monsters, conspiracy, and a smidgen of romance, what else could you want? It was so great hanging out in the the author’s yurt before and after the event, especially as there was free booze. Thanks to Janet and Eve and the rest of the festival staff, I love the EIBF so much!
Me, Eve and Susanne!
The absolute best thing about this year’s festival event, though, was that one of my fans travelled all the way up from Manchester to see me. Lizzii even brought me a couple of presents. It was so cool! I sat out in the sun with her and her mum for hours chatting about writing and reading and music and loads of other stuff. Thank you both for coming to see me! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my fans are my heroes. They’re what make this job so amazing. And Lizzii, you’re one of the best! Oh, and I think we agreed officially that she could marry the warden.
A HUGE thanks to everyone who invited me to do events, I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of so many fantastic festivals!