The first was a great Mystery and Mayhem event at Heffers Children's Bookshop in Cambridge along with two other great mystery authors, Katherine Woodfine and Patrical Elliott. We started by answering questions from our host, bookseller, Hillary - such as "do you always know who committed the crime when you start writing or do you decide as you go along?" We all agreed that we have to know what the crime is, who did it, and how they did it, before we start in order to be able to set out the trail of clues. There were also lots of questions from the children in the audience about the inspiration for our stories.
We then each read out passages from our books. I chose to read from the first chapter of The Mystery of the Secret Room. I remember giggling to myself when I wrote the scene where Jack makes up the word FRIMBLY when playing Scrabble with Emily and Scott and pretends it's from Shakespeare. I thought it would be fun to share something a bit silly - although it ends on a mysterious note when Jack disappears.
Thank you to everyone who came along and to Heffers for hosting and for my two lovely co-mystery writers. I would definitely recommend both their books to any Adventure Island readers. Both are set in the Edwardian era (by chance in exactly the same year, 1909!).
The next event was Cheltenham Literary Festival. I was very excited about being invited to take part in such a big festival. My talk took place in and enormous tent called The Inkpot, and I was stunned to find that my audience was over 350 children. Monsoon-style rain poured down all day, but luckily stopped for a the duration of my talk - a good thing, as rainstorms hammering on canvas can be deafening!
|Inky skies over The Inkpot|
|In the big tent . . . voting for the world's worst car name (because!)|
Then it was off to the Waterstones Bookshop tent for a signing, which was lovely as I got chance to chat to some of the children. Unfortunately one of the schools had to rush off to catch their coach so missed the signing (a big hello and sorry to Red Maids' Junior School - your signed bookplates are on their way to you!) Another school has already sent me some fabulous questions and comments via their blog (a big hello to Coopers Edge School - I will get my replies to you soon!).
|Signing a book for Kady|
And look who I spotted when I was there - our very own Emily Wild featuring on one of the character posters for the Discovery Trail. Jack and Scott are a bit jealous - but I did give them a mention on the poster too!
|Look! It's Emily!|