The Party's Over
Sorry for my long silence but I spent most of last week on the Gold Coast, at the Somerset Celebration of Literature. I've just discovered heaps of photos and a much better description of the event than I could muster here at Camille Santiago's blog -- she was the official photographer and her photos are a lot better than mine! (If you scroll right down to the end of the post there's even a picture of me.)
If I said I'd never had so much fun in all my life that would sound a bit tragic, so I won't. But it was really, really good. I got to hang out with a gang of lovely, funny, sweet, droll and clever authors and illustrators (downside - had irresistible urge to blow all my earnings on all their works, conveniently located at the festival bookshop. I may have come out in front, but it's close...) And I got to sit in on many sessions and hear them all talk about their work with such passion and humour and love and energy. It was inspirational for me, I can only imagine how it affected the thousands of kids who attended.
Highlight of the festival was the last night, when we all let our hair down, elbowed the other guests at the literary dinner aside, and took over the dance floor. The band (Somerset students) were all about sixteen, but they belted out "Blister in the Sun" and "Throw Your Arms Around Me" as if they were ooh, at least two years older, and us authors were loving ourselves sick as we partied like it was 1999 and as if we didn't all have to go home tomorrow.
But it was really all about the books -- and it's confirmed to me just how lucky I am to be surrounded by people (alas, not often enough!) whose main aim in life is to bring the joys of reading and writing to kids of all ages. What a great business to be in; what amazing, generous, gifted people you all are; what a privilege to meet you.
Thanks, Somerset. If only the festival could run all year round. But then I guess it wouldn't be so special.
* I'm labelling this post as "work." Hah!