Tales from the Hidden Grove

Tales from the Hidden Grove
"Amongst the finest short story writers in the UK right now" ~ Black Pear Press

Friday, 30 June 2017

Bradford Lit Fest: Meet and Greet

          The Arabian Nights panel.  Abdul-Rehman Malik, Robert Irwin and SF Said.

It's the first full day of the festival and I can't wait to get going.  I even do my nails!

My first event of the day is Book Bidding Wars, which takes place in City Hall.  One of the panellists is Kate Nash, with whom I have a 1-1 tomorrow, so I am listening carefully.  The panel take us on a fascinating tour of the inner workings of publishing, such as:  What makes a bestseller?  What makes for a distinctive authorial voice?  What happens in acquisition meetings?  The impact of cultural trends (both platforms like Netflix and YouTube, and values like kindness and self-care). And the struggle to achieve diversity in publishing.  A lively Q & A time follows, and the festival volunteers have to evict us from the room to set up the next talk.

I then miss my next event on The Arthurian Legend because I am asking panellist Lisa Milton for advice on my novel-pitching problems.  The conversation gets off to a better-than-expected start when she says to me, "I recognise you. Are you famous?"  It turns out she remembers me from Liars' League at the National Gallery.  This is great, and her advice is helpful.  I marvel that conversations like this are happening in the middle of Bradford!

After refuelling at Waterstones, I hike up to Bradford University for Arabian Nights: The Original Science Fiction.  Our host Abdul-Rehman Malik (who reminds me of an Asian George RR Martin) takes us through an interesting discussion with author and academic Robert Irwin and children's author, SF Said.  Topics range from speakers' personal relationships with the Nights, to its influence on classic SF and the English novel, as well as its relevance to modern Muslims.  On the way, we take in alchemy, mythology and talking cats!

There's time for a quick meet-up with fellow Forgotten & Fantastical author Dan Micklethwaite in the Festival Hub before I join my husband in Sunbridge Wells for the Game of Thrones Quiz.  We are nothing like super-fans and we come last, but we should get points for creativity for our answer of 21-and-a-half.  (I can't say what for!!) 

Now to do it all again tomorrow!

    House of Hopkinson.  Like Jon Snow, we know nothing!!