Saturday, 8 May 2010


I attended my first author panel yesterday evening, and do you know, it wasn't so bad. Once I got the first sentence out, it seemed good fun. Knowing how nervous I was in spite of having six other authors alongside me, I can’t imagine what it must be like to walk into a hall alone and face 70-80 people as Philippa Gregory did at Alnwick last week.
But I suppose one can get used to anything.

Northumberland Libraries took a room in the Tankerville Arms Hotel, Wooler
since the local library did not have enough space to take everyone. As I said, there were six other authors besides me, and all of them had done this sort of thing before. If you look at the pic (perhaps enlarge it by clicking on it?) Prue Phillipson sits to the left, followed by Janet MacLeod Trotter, Anna Louise Lucia, Margaret Carr, Abigail Bosanko and Michelle Styles' attention has been caught by something on the information board!
Naturally, dh and I arrived ridiculously early, as we usually do. I always used to arrive dead on the minute for anything, but he has slowly got me around to his way of thinking. We covered the sixty-five miles across the sunny Northumberland landscape with no hold-ups. I was first there. Too eager, I know.

Diane Wright, the area Librarian, had everything set up, people arrived, and off we went. First topic – why was I drawn to write in my chosen genre? I gave a brief answer about loving reading, history and being a librarian which probably wasn’t too logical, but seemed to fit the bill. I can’t actually remember what I said, but Prue followed on seamlessly, and then on down the line. A chunk of infor from everyone and then on to the next person.

The next question was about selling the first book, and I’d got my breath back now listening to everyone else, and began to enjoy myself. Told the tale of dh scanning my typewritten pages into a computer for me, and of selling Banners of Alba in America and hearing that the publisher declared herself bankrupt the very day my book came out!

There was a break in the middle for nibbles, a glass of wine and the chance to mingle before back to part two. I shouldn’t have had the wine, for I could feel my cheeks flaring. Probably looked like a Dutch doll with a temperature, but by then it couldn’t be helped. Diane finally stopped us half an hour after the specified time, and when I left people were still buzzing and talking. Twenty nine people in the audience, and a very good evening. Congratulations, Diane on a well run evening. I can’t wait for the next one.


Anna Lucia said...

Wasn't it a great evening? I didn't notice you being nervous, and enjoyed your replies!

I'm a 'get there early if I can' type, too. I think it just gives you more time to adjust to any last minute difficulties and challenges!

Helen Ginger said...

Congratulations on such a successful first panel!


Janet MacLeod Trotter said...

I thought you answered brilliantly and we all took our lead from you as you had the difficult job of going first!

Carolin said...

Belated congratulations :-)