I have just had a brilliant couple of days. I live in a small village, Deeping St James, attached to a small market town, Market Deeping, with the villages of Deeping Gate, West Deeping and Deeping St Nicholas all close by. Over this bank holiday weekend is the first ever Deepings Literary Festival and although I’ve only been able to experience the first two days, they’ve been amazingly good and I wish I’d had chance to do more.
Thursday 27th April
On Thursday evening I went along to the Festival launch at Market Deeping library (the library that refused to die when it was threatened with closure). Local dignitaries and authors came and children from one of the primary schools performed for us.
Smashing celebratory cake!
Friday 28th April
On Friday 28th April I was honoured to be asked to interview Alison Bruce, author of the Cambridge series of Gary Goodhew crime thriller books, all of which are available for purchase here. I have recently reviewed Alison’s Cambridge Black here.
After a quick photo shoot at the library (thanks to my husband Steve), we went across to the event at The Iron Horse Ranch House which was sold out and Alison was a brilliant interviewee. We ran out of time way before the audience had run out of questions.
We were also treated to some fantastic singing by Rachel Eyre who entertained us with songs from the 1940s, 1950s and musical shows.
After the interview, Rachel continued to entertain us whilst Alison was inundated with audience members buying copies of her books and waiting to get them signed. Thankfully, Tim from Walkers Bookshop in Stamford was on hand!
At the end of the event I was surprised by a gift from the festival committee as a thank you for taking part – it turned out to be a fabulous bookish notebook – just right for a blogger and bookworm.
Saturday 29th April
On Saturday I had signed up to hear Karen Maitland, author of The Plague Charmer speak about ‘Plague, Pottage and Poison’, the background to this novel.
Now, I have a confession. I was sent a proof copy for review of The Plague Charmer way before it was published in October last year and I’ve never got round to reading it. Having heard Karen’s utterly brilliant talk I shall definitely be starting it as soon as I can. The Plague Charmer is available for purchase here.
There were wonderful homemade cakes at the venue (I had the chocolate fudge cake) and refreshments being sold to raise money for Cancer charities and I even got to ask a Karen a question.
The Plague Charmer is available for purchase here.
Following Karen’s talk I didn’t have time to stay to hear the others in the same venue as I was winging my way across to Lilli’s Tearoom to have lunch with Erica James.
Erica is a prolific author and it was a real privilege to have lunch and hear speak and answer our questions. All of Erica’s books are available for purchase here, but I was able to buy, and have signed, Song of the Skylark, her latest. It was such a pleasure to meet an author I’ve long admired. You can read my review of another of Erica’s books, The Dandelion Years, here.
Even lovelier than expected for me was I was able to meet up with authors Julie Stock and Karen Aldous (and Karen’s husband) and have a chat with them too. I have previously interviewed Karen for Linda’s Book Bag and you can read that interview here.
Just waiting for the tea and cakes to turn up too!
Immediately after the Erica James event I went hot-foot along to the library for a Read Dating event with 10 authors, being organised by Liz Waterland who runs the U3A book group to which I belong and, without whom, the library would be closed.
Liz checking to make sure we’re all moving on at the right time!
It was frenetic afternoon, dashing from one author to another to hear about their books and so good to meet up with lovely Jane Isaac again. I’ve reviewed another of Jane’s books, Beneath the Ashes, here and will be reviewing her latest, The Lies Within, on the blog on 10th May.
The Lies Within by Jane Isaac is available for purchase here.
I also got to speak with almost all the following authors:
Black Ops is available for purchase here.
Granddad’s War is available for purchase here.
Being Krystyna is available for purchase here.
You can read a previous Linda’s Book Bag post from Carol here.
Ferrel E. (Darren) Calpin
Expecting the Unexpected is available for purchase here.
50 Miles From Anywhere is available for purchase here.
belifehappy: give. play. love. learn is available for purchase here.
Do Not Forget Me Quite is available for purchase here.
Ros’s books, including Flowers of Flanders, are available for purchase here.
A Life More Complicated is available for purchase here.
It really was a brilliant afternoon and I overheard another attendee sum up how I felt when she said, ‘I’ve had a wonderful time!’ Even better for me too was the fact that Jane was able to come back home with me for tea and cake!
If you’d like to see what you missed across the weekend have a look at the Deepings Literary Festival website! I would like to thank all the organisers who have put in so much hard work to make the first Deepings Literary Festival a huge success and I can’t wait to be involved in the next one!