I love book festivals. I've been to quite a few all around the world. There's nothing better than listening to authors you admire, surrounded by people who love books, talking book things. Therefore it was an amazing experience to take part in my first one as an author.
My publisher organized GollanczFest this year in London and I was lucky enough to take part. My morning was spent with Mark Stay, Tom Lloyd, Gavin Smith, Ed Cox and many others chatting to aspiring writers about their books. And in the afternoon, I was on a panel with Garth Nix, Vic James, and Joe Abercrombie no less, discussing Magic and the Mundane. The day was great fun and everyone was so nice - even if it was a bit surreal sitting backstage with Joe and Ben Aaronovitch while they discussed movie and TV deals.
I found the panel quite nerve-wracking. Forgetting about the 250-odd people watching, it's really hard to be asked a question, try and work out what your answer is, while simultaneously listening to the very funny and experienced authors next to you give their much better answers.
Afterwards, there was a book signing for all the authors and I was lucky enough to have about 5 or 6 people turn up!
While I was in London, I also managed to fit in a reading and interview at the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, which takes place in the cellar of a pub in King's Cross. I'd heard so many good things about the event and it certainly lived up to all of it.
The incredible Miles Cameron and Ben Aaronovitch also appeared with me. I got a really good reaction from the crowd, who laughed at my bad jokes all the way through.
Reading while a spotlight shines on your face is not easy in case you were wondering!
After GollanczFest, my publishers had a one day KIndle sale and you could buy WE ARE THE DEAD for 99p. Obviously a bargain and my little book shot to No 1 in 3 different categories and reached 46 in the UK Kindle chart overall.
That's not bad company to be in eh?
Finally I managed a flying visit to the awesome BristolCon where I appeared on a panel called WE DON"T NEED ANOTHER HERO, hosted by Peter Newman. Again great fun and I saw some wonderful people there.
And of course, the best thing about being back in the UK was hanging out with family for the first time in ages, especially my dad and No 1 fan, Arthur Shackle