Saturday, 9 July 2011

Festival Fever

It’s festival season! There used to be just the big ones like Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Hay-on-Wye. Famous authors were invited to get up on stage and talk to their fans, after which they might sell a few books and sign them.

In those days, Katherine went to Edinburgh – where she read out the curse in the Great Pyramid Robbery and broke the microphone. She has not been invited back.

Katherine went to Cheltenham – where she was interviewed jointly with Diana Wynne-Jones, whose signing queue stretched out of the door. Diana Wynne-Jones became ill shortly afterwards and died earlier this year. She (Katherine) hasn’t been invited back.

Katherine went to Hay-On-Wye, where they scheduled her event at the same time as the England vs Argentina semi-final. It was raining. Most people stayed at home to watch the football. She hasn’t been invited back.

But now there are festivals everywhere you look. A unicorn can barely trot through an enchanted wood without tripping over one. People want to be entertained, and authors are there to entertain them. If they do this well enough, they’ll maybe sell a few books (and usually insist on signing them). This is good. Authors should get out sometimes and meet their readers, and readers should get a chance to see what authors really look like.

You’d think there would not be nearly enough authors to go around. But there are many authors who never get invited to festivals. These authors are not your obvious entertainers, not young or beautiful, dashing or handsome, not a celebrity or war hero, politician or pop star, not last year’s best-seller or this year’s major prize winner. They are normal people who write books, and they are usually busy sitting at home and authoring their next book, while their more famous colleagues are busy talking about their last one.

Ever wondered what these "normal" authors think about their books and their lives? Well, now's your chance to find out! All this weekend, you can meet a whole range of children’s authors – the beautiful and famous included – over at the Awfully Big Blog Adventure’s first ever online literary festival.

There’s no mud.
There’s no rain to dash through to get to the next tent.
There are book giveaways and competitions.
If you’ve been held up in cyberspace and miss your chosen event, you can return later… next week even… and still find it happening in all its glory.
You can leave questions in the comments, and the authors will answer you.
Oh, and did I mention every single event is FREE?

So what are you waiting for? Hold on tight to the unicorn’s mane, and I’ll whisk you magically over there right now…

The Awfully Big Blog Adventure

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