On Saturday I got the train down to sunny Newcastle to appear at the UK Young Adult and Children’s Extravaganza event, held in Newcastle City Library in conjunction with Seven Stories bookshop. The last time I was in Newcastle I was about 12, and I had forgotten how beautiful this city is. I’ll definitely be going back soon so that I can spend more time exploring.
The best part of doing events like this, (apart from meeting readers), is getting to spend the day surrounded by great authors and hear about their books and writing experiences. I was on a panel with YA authors, Roy Gill (that’s him reading about werewolves in one of the photos), Sara Grant, Olivia Levez and Liz Flanagan. I read from FOLLOW ME and realised just how short 2 minutes is when you have lots you want to say!!Fellow Scots based authors, Kirkland Ciccone and Alex Nye, were also there for the day (that’s them sitting at their signing table in the photo above). Kirkland treated us to a catwalk show as part of his panel. I thought it might turn into a Kanye West fashion show type disaster when he donned his fur coat in sauna like conditions, but he strutted his stuff like a pro!
What struck me as I listened to all of the authors during the day is the diversity of fiction available for children and teenagers – so many imaginative books stretching across a wide range of genres. It also highlighted the importance of events such as this to get the word out there about the breadth of talent which exists across the whole of the UK. I think it’s brilliant that Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery invited along debut, as well as more established authors, from a mix of big house publishers and small indie publishers. Thanks to them both for taking the time out from their own busy writing lives to organise such a brilliant event.
I managed to fit in a quick visit to the Laing Art Gallery which was directly across the road. When I was standing at the top of the library stairs I spotted an Alice In Wonderland poster hanging outside the gallery and realised there was an exhibition so nipped off to get lost in Wonderland for a quick 10 minutes.
I’ll leave you with a picture of the white rabbit, running away from Alice in a silent film. The great thing about being a writer is that you never know what or where your next adventure might be…