PHEEBS ATTENDS THREE EVENTS - NOVELS WITH CHILD PROTAGONISTS, A WORKSHOP ON WRITING COMEDY, AND A PARTY

Even though I attended eight events, I know that it was only a handful of the all the wonderful things on in ChipLitFest. So, while I am singing praises of these eight events in these blogs, I would like to stress that all the things that I didn’t see were also (I’m sure) as top-notch quality as the ones I attended!

I’d like to start my account of Saturday afternoon with my exit from the Mad Girl event as it was then lunchtime, slap bang into (what I call) the Flower Fiasco.

I messed up.

Earlier in the day, I’d seen a flower stall and thought, ‘hey, I know what would be nice! To buy my mum and granny a posy of flowers each’. As I was walking to a place where I could sit and eat my lunch, however, I saw that the stall was actually closing. Panic alarms drowned rational thought in a cacophony in my mind.

I dashed to the men packing up, and in my sweetest, slightly worried tones, I asked if it would be possible to buy some flowers. The man in charge was incredibly kind, and since I had no idea what flowers I wanted to buy, he said to name a figure and he’d sort out the rest. Very considerate.

Unfortunately, I am naïve, and anyone who is familiar with my ineptitude knows not to hand me any decisions or responsibility.

I completely misjudged how many flowers I would get for my pocket money.

I thanked him profusely, since he was so kind to me, then staggered away under the weight of two large gift-wrapped flower bouquets, wondering where to store them for FIVE ENTIRE HOURS until I got picked up. I was also wondering if they could last that long without water…

I decided that Jaffé & Neale bookshop would be my saviour, and when I entered, hallelujah, they said they were fine with me leaving them there (thank you so much).

Anyway, all sorted in the end, so I’ll stop harping on about my incompetence and relate more about the fantastic events.

Next up: Unbroken Voices!

Truly wonderful, where three authors (Julie MayhewKeith Stuart and Kit De Waal) were interviewed about their books. Each of the authors read an extract from their books and there was some great discussion between all three as they answered questions and developed each other’s answers. The dynamics were great between all of the group, and I got the feeling that the interviewer just kind of left them to it! Each author presented their own viewpoint on their books and it was fascinating to hear a comparison of how each had written about children protagonists differently.

Finally, I moseyed my way over to the parish rooms for a writing workshop on comedy. Slightly freestyle, but very helpful and delightful event in which David Quantick used his considerable experience and many real-life comedy examples and video clips to explain and elaborate on his perceptive points and advice for budding writers in this challenging genre.

I ended the day by relocating my inconveniently gigantic flower bouquets to the Theatre where a drinks party was being held, and where I was able to chat to all the lovely authors and volunteers of ChipLitFest – always a pleasure.

I was unable to attend her event the following day so I was particularly pleased to be able to talk at the party with the wonderful Tamsyn Murray, whose fabulous (and tear-jerking!) book Instructions for a Second Hand Heart I had already reviewed (on the ChipLitFest blog pages).

The two bouquets and I, both rather tired by then, headed home.  That was Saturday, folks; stay tuned for some of ChipLitFest Sunday!


If you want to read Pheebs' interview with Julie Mayhew, click here, and if you'd then like to read the review of Mother Tongue, click here