Monday, 19 November 2012

My wonderful day out at the Festival of Romance.

Last week the wonderful Sue Fortin said that she had won a ticket for the Festival of Romance weekend in Bedford and as she was already going, asked whether anyone knew someone who might like to go. I would've loved to have gone but with Christmas coming up, my finances did not allow that to happen. So I said to Sue that I would love to go and was over the moon when she said that there were two tickets and they were all mine.
I therefore asked Margaret, a friend who is interested and involved in the writing world if she might like to come along with me and she said she would love to. Unfortunately we couldn't go for the whole weekend, so we headed down to Bedford for the day on Saturday morning.  Margaret is the Treasurer for Swanwick and we talked about the
Writer's Summer School which takes place every year in August on the journey. 
We arrived at The Lane cafe and were early for the 10.30 start but were very kindly invited in and asked to take a seat while they were preparing the coffee machine. The next person to come into the cafe was the wonderful Carole Matthews who is someone that I admire greatly and absolutely love her books of which I have read every single one. She joined us at our table and we chatted loads about her work and life in general. She is so lovely!

Carole Matthews reading from
With Love At Christmas
Following this a steady stream of brilliant authors came in and prepared to do their readings. It was also amazing to meet the very lovely Talli Roland as we've had many an email and twitter exchange and to meet her in person and give her a big hug was great.    
Hazel Osmond was another author who I reviewed when I first set up my blog and was delighted to meet along with Trisha Ashley, Philippa Ashley, Miranda Dickinson, Rowan Coleman and Rosy Thornton along with authors who were new to me which included Liz Fenwick, Sophie Pembroke, Hywela Lyn, Cara Cooper, and Evonne Wareham.  All of these authors read from their novels while their audience was totally spellbound.   I have to pay a massive compliment to The Lane as I had the most unbelievably scrumptious and humungous piece of carrot cake I’ve ever had in my entire life.

I was also dead chuffed to meet the lovely Dizzy CLBB aka Carol Wright who is a fellow reviewer and a lovely lady.
Me, Sheryl Browne & Linn B Halton
We then headed for the Romance Fair in the Corn Exchange where there were gifts, books, authors, chocolate and loads of fun going on in that room. I was particularly excited to see my Love A Happy Ending buddies Nicky Wells, Mandy Baggot, Linn B Halton, Sue Fortin and Carol E Wyer and next to them the fabulous Safket publishing stand with the hilarious author Sheryl Browne and Kim. After many many hugs and kisses we then headed off to Romance and Shopping which was happening in the Harpur Shopping Centre where a number of authors read from their work at the Readathon.

We then headed over to the meet the authors Rock Star party which was held at Rock Art and really enjoyed readings from Jane Lovering, Sue Moorcroft, Katherine Garbara, Fiona Harper, Mandy Baggot, Lucy Felthouse, Berni Stevens, Nicky Wells, Natalie Nicole Bates, Emma Cain, Kate Allan and Oscar Sparrow. After the readings everybody mingled with a glass of wine or two for some, and it was fabulous to catch up with both authors and reviewers alike and to finally meet the lovely Kate Allen too.
What a fab day!  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the authors that I’ve chatted with over Facebook and Twitter and seeing those again, that I’ve become firm friends with over the couple of years that I have been book reviewing and blogging.  
I hope next year to be able to get the whole weekend at this event.  It really is a treat for authors, potential authors and readers.    On the Friday night, there was the Festival of Romance Ball and Awards.  On the Saturday, there were workshops galore on topics such as writing fiction for magazines, writing romantic novels and writing short romance novels and on the Sunday, there was an opportunity to pitch your novel and also a Romantic Fiction confernce.  There was also another opportunity to meet the authors at a historial afternoon tea. 


There were a number of awards won over the weekend and my congratulations go to the winners who were:

Best Romantic Read – Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman

Best Historical Read – The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay

Best Short Romance – Dancing with Danger by Fiona Harper

Best Ebook – Miranda’s Mount by Phillippa Ashley

Best Author Published – The School Gates by Nicola May

Best Romantic Film – Jane Eyre

Best Romantic TV – Downton Abbey

Innovation Award (Publisher) – DC Thomson

Innovation Award (Author) – Mandy Baggot

Publisher of the Year – Choc Lit

Literary Agent of the Year – Jane Judd

New Talent Award – Lesley Eames with highly commended for Cathy Lennon & Sue Jackson

Piatkus Entice Win a Publishing Contract Competition – Celia Anderson, Beth Chamber & Terri Nixon

Hall of Fame Award – Katie Fforde, Black Lace, Laura Longrigg



Karen said...

Sounds amazing! I was there on Sunday and had a really interesting day.

Reabookreview said...

Sounded like a fantastic day I hope to go next year just need to learn to crawl out of my shell a bit!! xx

Carole Matthews said...

Lovely to meet you! Glad to hear you enjoyed your day... C : ) xx

Mandy said...

It was lovely to see you again, Kim! So glad you enjoyed it!

Mandy x

Talli Roland said...

Yay! So lovely to meet you and chat in person rather than via the Internet. And I agree, the carrot cake was AMAZING! xx

Hazel Osmond said...

Yes lovely to meet you and have a chat.... and the carrot cake was sublime.

Hywela Lyn said...

I'm loving reading all the blog posts about the Festival. So glad you enjoyed it, Kim. I was one of the authors doing a reading, trying not to be nervous (could you tell?) I also loved the carrot cake! I even forsook my usual chocolate fudge cake for the carrot variety! :)

Janice Horton said...

What an amazing time you had, Kim! And although you obviously enjoyed meeting all the authors that you have read and supported and reviewed and mentioned on your Bookworm Blog and Book Club radio slot - I bet they were even more delighted to meet YOU - you wonderful woman you!!

Janice xx

Dizzy C said...

I was so glad I met you on Saturday.

I love your blog and dont know how you manage work, family and the blog.
You inspire me. :)


Lindsay said...

Sounds brilliant Kim! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing it with us.

D.J. Kirkby said...

Wow, what a lovely treat for you! I have never been but hope to be able to attend next year.

EmmaK said...

Sounds like so much fun. I hope to be able to make it next year fingers crossed.

Linn B Halton said...

Was looking at some pics of the festival today and thought of you! It would be fab to have a weekend away with everyone next year - we MUST make it happen! Have a fab week, Lxxx