You might remember that last year, I volunteered to help out at the Big Book Bash, a day of author events and workshops for foster children and families and children in care. This year's was extra special as it was the 10th Big Book Bash, so I was thrilled not only to be volunteering, but to be taking part as an author as well!
I started the day in volunteer mode, frantically framing certificates for a presentation later on. Then I had to dash to get ready for the opening ceremony. It was both fabulous and surreal, especially when Nick Sharratt (yes, THE Nick Sharratt) grabbed my hand and tried to get everyone to sway in time to the DaleDiva Women's Chorus. Due to my extreme lack of co-ordination, we only managed to get half the group dancing, but hey, we tried!
After that, I switched back to volunteer mode, helping a colleague run a Bag Books session. Bag Books produce tactile, multi-sensory books for children and adults with disabilities, and the stories in the session went down a storm, especially the one about CJ the library cat! It was great to see the kids having so much fun, and definitely something I'd like to get involved with in the future.
Then I hurried up the corridor to the Green Room (yes, we had a green room!) for lunch, where I chatter to Jon Mayhew and admired Sophia Bennet's fabulous shoes, and got ready for my panel discussion with fellow Author Allsorts Fletcher Moss (THE POISON BOY) and Sarah Naughton (THE HANGED MAN RISES). It was lovely to meet them both in real life at last. Sadly, I 'died' in the first round of Sarah's Victorian It's a Knockout, but that didn't spoil the enjoyment of hearing them talk about their books. I highly recommend you go out and buy both books now!
The day ended with a dash down to the marquee to get my copy of 'PANTS' signed by Nick Sharratt… who drew me a pair of smiley pants! Then, loaded down with a fabulous commemorative 10th Big Book Bash calendar and glass book, it was time to head home. HUGE thanks to Annie Everall and everyone else who makes the BBB so special – here's to many more years of this amazing event!