I consider myself an organised person and I can also read a map, yet on my journey to the Isle of Wight Literary Festival managed to miss my connecting train, and then the ferry, which when I got on went to East Cowes not Cowes and then got a little lost between the ferry and the B and B. I arrived a giggling mess!
It’s probably a good job I hadn’t booked to see any of the events on that day considering it would have been quicker to fly to Turkey.
The B and B was very quaint and the landlady was absolutely barking. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many ‘things’ in one room! It was definite risk assessment for what could be potentially broken seeing as I’m a little clumsy. How that starfish perched on the bathroom sink the size of an iPhone remained in one piece is beyond me.
The first event I attended was the Grip Lit Crime Panel, with Colette Mcbeth author of Precious Things and The Life I Left Behind, Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go, and Rebecca Whitney, author of The Liar’s Chair. This was chaired by Fanny Blake.
This was a great event. I find the writing process fascinating, whether plot or characters are decided upon first. How some authors just start writing, and how some have to know exactly where the story is going to go and how it will end before fingers touch keypads.
Clare told us how she walked into the Devon sea in October fully clothed as she wanted to know what it would feel like for her character! That’s hardcore!! Rebecca said how she will often write out of sequence, which was met with horrified gasps from Clare and Colette. Colette shared how she couldn’t understand why she’d been invited to a ‘psychological thriller authors’ event as she thought she’d just written a book! These were three fabulous authors to be put together and Fanny was a great chair.
My next event was Historical Fiction ‘Hearts and Minds’ with Anna Hope, author of Wake, Lucy Ribchester author of The Hourglass Factory, and Lissa Evans, author of Their Finest Hour and A Half and Crooked Heart and children’s fiction too.
This was once again chaired by Fanny Blake who needs to have her own tv or radio book related show as she is a great host!
This event was FAB! Lissa told us that she wrote Crooked Heart because she’d done so much research for Their Finest Hour And A Half that she had to write another book set in the same time period. Lucy was inspired by circus acrobatics and Suffragettes. Anna too was inspired by Suffragettes and women’s roles. There was a very lively debate had by these three with a lot of Woman Power in the room! I went straight to the tent after to purchase all three books which I had signed. I was so delighted to meet Anna as Wake was one of my favourite books from last year. I was further delighted when she told me The Ballroom, her second novel will be published next February. Cannot wait!
Saturday evenings event was Debut Writers Salon with Lucy Foley, author of Lost and Found. Kate Hamer, author of The Girl In The Red Coat, and Sarah Leipciger, author of The Mountain Can Wait. This was chaired by Georgina Moore.
What a great trio of authors. Lucy talked glamour and nostalgia and shared how she was keeping the memories of her Grandmother alive through her writing. Sarah told us how she met some ‘people’ online who after vetting that she wasn’t part of an anti gun organisation gave her invaluable information on guns and hunting that was relevant to her story. Kate got us all ‘oohing’ when she shared exciting news that there may be a film in the pipeline! Again another very great chair from Georgina Moore. Lots of questions from the floor too. Excuse the poor quality of the photos here. I was tweeting and taking pics with a wad of tissue up my nostrils trying to stem a nosebleed…..all for a good cause!
Georgina had invited me to the Author’s dinner that night. Oh I was mightily chuffed and slightly starstruck to be sat with Patrick Gale, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Fanny Blake, Lucy Ribchester, Elizabeth Preston, and Jo Dawson.
I was buzzing all evening! Mahoosive thanks to Georgina for that!
Sunday morning and my last event at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival with Rachel Joyce and Patrick Gale. This was a packed out event.
Rachel talked about Harold Fry and Queenie Hennessy. She regaled story’s of her Father, one of them which had the audience tittering was that he’d hated the sea, couldn’t swim, didn’t like boats and yet wore yacht shoes most of his life. She told us about The Snow Garden, her collection of short stories that are all interlinked due for publication in November and that there is a novel next year! Lots of smiling faces in the audience at that news. Rachel and Patrick were a natural pairing with such enlightening and flowing conversation.
I had such a marvellous time. It was wonderful to go to the events I’d booked. Such an array of awesome authors. It was good to see Karen Dennise (myreading-corner.blogspot.co.uk) and meet Alison Percival (alisonpercival.com) Check out their posts of the festival too!
A massive congratulations to Fanny Blake, Georgina Moore, and Patrick Gale for brilliant chairing of their events. I see television book presenting for all of them……
It was a truly inspiring four days being amongst lovely bookish people. I shall go back next year for sure!
Woo hoo!!! It’s Isle of Wight day!
I’m rather excited for my little adventure.
Not only is it my first visit to the Isle of Wight itself, but it’s my first literary festival. Bonkers right!
My suitcase is packed with appropriate weather attire I hope? Biker boots, scarf, hat, knitwear…..I’m obviously under the assumption that it’s going to be chilly.
So far I’ve booked the Crime Panel ‘The Art of Grip Lit’ with Colette Mcbeth, Rebecca Whitney, and Clare Mackintosh.
Historical Fiction Debate ‘Hearts and Minds’ with Anna Hope, Lucy Ribchester, and Lissa Evans.
And the Debut Writers Salon with Sarah Leipciger, Kate Hamer, and Lucy Foley.
I will also be hunting down Cathy Rentzenbrink, Patrick Gale, and Georgina Moore for hugs.
I shall report back, but because I am far more comfortable with a pair of scissors and comb, there may be no instant reporting!