I went to my first writer’s festival as a ‘writer’ on the weekend in Perth. It was so much fun.
I spoke about being a debut novelist in a tropical grove (yes really) with Laura Barnett (Versions of Us) and Portland Jones (Seeing the Elephant). There’s nothing like sunshine, bird calls, cool breezes and a warm audience to settle the nerves. Plenty of questions and laughs throughout.
The next session, tricks of the crime writing trade, was with Peter May (I could list his books forever but The Blackhouse is my favourite) and Ann Turner, my fellow S&S author, (The Lost Swimmer). Spookily, it took place in a lecture theatre that was a dead ringer for a room in my book but luckily no one died in the hour. We covered settings, weather, what to do when the pesky police turn up trying to investigate murders in your book and much more. Peter explained the difference between an English ‘bobby’ and the French gendarmerie (top tip – don’t ask the latter for the time, they’ll reach for their guns). We had a great time.
And then I got to be an audience member and listen to literary heroes such as Gail Jones, Iain Pears and Charlotte Wood. I had dinner with my lovely publisher Simon & Schuster, all their fabulous authors, as well as some of Perth's best booksellers and arts journos. I caught up with those crafty goddesses Pip Lincolne and Beci Orpin who were fabulous and got to fan girl Andy Griffiths and Hetty McKinnon. If you haven’t got Hetty’s excellent recipe book Community – Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen yet, then I can only suggest you go out and ‘do yourself a f(l)avour’.
Perth set the thermostat to ‘gorgeous’ and the crowds were fantastic.
Thanks so much PIAF for the invitation.