Well here I am, back in my writing shoes after a two week absence and in particular the Guildford Book Festival via Venice and Walthamstow. Book Festivals are a thorny issue for writers. They take up time and energy and most of them don’t pay. Why do we do them? It’s the most aired topic whenever two or three of us are gathered in a Green Room waiting to go on. Then we go on and remember why we do them. We get to meet people who have actually read our books.
It is truly gratifying and encouraging in what is otherwise a solitary life doing speculative work. You might spend a year labouring on something that a critic trashes in just one short paragraph. So to arrive at a book festival and learn that your event is sold out is very cheering news indeed. And then to walk into a room full of people who want to ask you questions or tell you how utterly brilliant you are, well, what could be a better way to put some spine in you for the next six month slog.
So thanks to the organisers of Guildford 2013, for taking such good care of their guests, to Guy Pringle of New Books magazine for setting me up as a far more interesting speaker than I really am, and to all those lovely readers who gave up their Saturday afternoon to come and listen to lil’ol me.
Sold out! Who’d have thunk it?