Well it is all over and what a simply wonderful weekend it turned out to be. Meg Reid, the Festival Director, can sleep soundly in her bed now sure in the knowledge that her idea of starting off a book festival in the lovely little seaside town of Felixstowe has become a reality, and a successful reality at that. She deserves every bit of praise coming her way for her vision and hard work.
From my arrival at the Orwell Hotel first thing on Saturday morning I could feel that it would go well. The place was buzzing with chat and talk and laughter and this wonderful atmosphere carried on all weekend. My first task was to introduce a talk by Guy Fraser-Sampson on Mapp and Lucia and the Benson family who, I have to say, are all, without exception, completely potty. We were in fits of laughter and Guy had the audience eating out of his hand.
When I gave my introduction and admitted that I had only discovered Mapp and Lucia about four years ago there was a collective gasp of horror from all attendees!
Simon had arrived by this time and we were feeling a little nervous about our upcoming talk when Meg came to tell us that Linda Gillard had been knocked over by a boy on a moped and had been taken to hospital. Shock horror but talk about The Show Must Go On, Linda, battered and bruised turned up for her Festival talks and even made our chat about blogging. As I had been petrified nobody would turn up at all we were pleased to see about 15 or 16 in the audience and we had a smashing time talking with and to this very friendly bunch and a good time had by all. My thanks to lovely Simon from Stuck in a Book, having him next to me made the whole thing so much less nervewracking. It is always lovely to see him. Do pop over and read his post on the Festival.
Both Simon and I have known Linda for several years but we have never met, having been in touch through blogging, email and Facebook etc and after such a long time it was wonderful to meet up with her.
In the evening I had the pleasure of dinner with Helen Rappaport whose talk on the Romanovs was taking place on Sunday morning and which I introduced. Packed house, not a seat to be had and oh my goodness what a heartbreaking subject on the last days of the Romanovs. My sister said at one point she was moved to tears and Helen had the rapt attention of everyone there. Simply wonderful.
Then a stroll round town, a quick sarnie and tea and off to Felixstowe Library where I was introducing Linda Gillard who gave a fascinating and informative workshop on how to get your book published on Amazon. Linda was a guest blogger of mine last year when she talked about this and her post is here. Another sell out and we had to put more chairs out for last minute attendees.
Then I legged it back to the Orwell Hotel for the final talk I was introducing, LIz Trenow whose book The Last Telegram, I recently read, loved and reviewed here. Liz gave a very entertaining talk and lots of information about silk which I found fascinating.
A simply marvellous weekend, huge success all round, excellent speakers, lots of fun and laughter and friendly faces and many many people saying So what are you going to do for 2014?