Festival of Romance, Bedford

I got back on Sunday, and after having chilled out a bit, I am almost back in the swing of things. As it was my very first event as an author, I thought I’d share what happened with you all.

photo 1

First stop – Nando’s!

I took mother with me, since hubby had to look after the ratbags, and I didn’t want to go on my own. We stayed at the Park Inn, which was on the same level as a Premier Inn – comfortable but basic. It was ideally placed, and only walking distance from the venues.

On Friday evening we went to the Higgins’ Museum to listen to some readings from some amazing historical romance authors. My TBR list was suddenly extended. We were also given an impromptu private tour by the lovely William Coles (if you’re reading this – thank you for showing us the teapots!!)

photo 2

Evening view of the Great Ouse from the hotel dining room

Saturday was when the fun started for me. We got to the Harpur Suite at 8.30 a.m. to set up, and I shared a table with Lucy Felthouse. I have to admit to being a little bit overwhelmed by it all. I was surrounded by authors, many of them having been featured on the Sunday Times Best Seller’s list. I was meeting people I’ve been following on Facebook and Twitter for a while, and authors whose books I have on my shelf, like Miranda Dickinson.

photo 1

The set up

At 10.30 I followed everyone down to The Lane, and waited to do my reading. To say I was nervous would be a severe understatement. I was shaking so much that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to read the words. But armed with Citrine point (my birth crystal) for luck, a copy of the book, and my glasses I took my place and read the opening scene from Seven Dirty Words. I think it went okay…

And after that we headed back to the Harpur Suite to pick up sales. Well that bit didn’t go as well as it could have. I sold 2 books. And now have a box of 47 sat in the boot of my car. But hey-ho! I did give away a fair few bookmarks, postcards, and business cards, and quite a lot of people did say they would download it on Kindle – I only hope they are true to their word.

I try to look at it as experience. I did a lot of networking, made a lot of connections, and “put myself out there”. Overall it was a good day, and I had fun.

photo 3

Listening to the Baby Shower readings

Saturday evening was the ball, but I was shattered and so was a party-pooper, heading for the hotel, a cup of tea, and QI in bed.

photo 2

But not before a second Nando’s…

A quiet drive home, and I am now back with my babies and the hubster, planning a massive market-drive next week to try and shift some of these books and swag. (Watch out for a giveaway in the next week or so!!)

But I am looking forward to next year’s Festival of Romance!

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