Posted on September 7, 2008 - by MG
Saturday morning down in the Oxfordshire market town of Witney – with a surprisingly literary crowd thanks to Waterstone’s Witney Book Festival. It’s a new mini-festival. Julia Golding and I shared an event in the local Corn Exchange. We quizzed each other on outdoor survival (Julia passed with colours) and the world of diplomacy (I was clueless), and about writing and our latest books. Julia’s latest is EMPTY QUARTER, the second in the Darcie Lock series about a teenage girl whose family business happens to be spying and not, after all, working innocuously in an embassy. My daughter and I are reading it now. I had to skip ahead because it became rather too exciting to read in short bedtime chunks…
Then it was on to the small-but-perfectly-formed and jam-packed Waterstone’s Witney, where a <insert collective noun> of children’s authors hovered in the children’s section signing books and watching a master bookseller in action – Mark Robson. (Here’s Mark’s account of the morning.)
Mark is the author of an admirable number of books – including the DRAGON ORB and IMPERIAL series (he’s also one of those rare self-publishing success stories). Julia too is prolific…they both publish 2 or 3 books a year (see what a slacker I am?). Mark also spends many a Saturday signing in bookshops, where he can handsell a whole stack of books – and not just his own!
Sarah Singleton, author of gothic fantasy novels for teens (including the award-winning CENTURY) was also there. I must admit to being rather impressed by all these authors as they stood by their stacked up books.
I’ve so far resisted the temptation to stop reading books for adults and throw myself gleefully and exclusively into the richly imaginative worlds of YA fiction. But having met the authors and heard about their books makes that sooo difficult.
Yes, I know I still haven’t finished “The Feast of the Goat” by Mario Vargas Llosa. But first I want to read “The Amethyst Child” by Sarah, “Imperial Spy” by Mark and “The Diamond of Drury Lane” by Julia.