Bradford Lit Fest: Hopes and Fears

It's day two, and I have considerably less energy than yesterday.  Still, I manage to drive down the hill and park in the Broadway.  (A considerable acheivement for a nervous driver!)  To do this, I have had to leave partway through a sermon entitled: "Are you in prison?"  The question resonates.

Today, I have my 1-1 Meet the Literary Agent with Kate Nash.  Bizarrely, I find this less helpful than my impromptu chat with Lisa Milton yesterday, as Kate is clearly expecting less experienced writers.  I  feel somewhat dispirited as I eat my jacket potato in Esquires.

I am now pinning considerable hope on the experience of hearing David Olusoga speak to his book, Black and British: A Forgotten History.  I have brought my own copy from home, in the hopes that he will sign it, and maybe allow a selfie.  I do my lipstick, just in case.  

Mercifully, David does not disappoint.  I am completely starstruck as he talks through themes and issues from the book, the most important of which is that Black History IS British History.  An impassioned Q&A follows, in a council chamber that has doubtless seen a fair few impassioned debates in its time.  I get my book signed AND a selfie, and am able to tell David that I have written a short story about Henry "Box" Brown (that's just won second prize in the Swanwick competition).  Happy, happy, happy!

My final event (before I collapse) is Why Do We Like to Be Scared?  I'm not entirely sure that I do like to be scared, and I'm really only attending in the hopes of talking to Anne Perry.  It turns out to be an informal panel chat on the role of fear in literature.  The panel discuss how one person's "fun scary" is another person's disturbing fear, and vice versa.  Our fear of not being in control.  And how our relationship with horror changes throughout our lives.

Afterwards, I shake hands with Anne, who I have only previously met through email.  Job done.  I'm ready to go home and have my tea.  It's been an action-packed weekend.  Time to rest.


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