Kit spent a very intensive four days in London at Robert McKee's famous event, on a bit of CPD! Robert is world-renowned for his amazing teaching on the art of creating story in screenplay, drama and novels. Kit met some really interesting people and learned so much - Robert is approachable and friendly, despite being such a huge name and packing the 200 seat auditorium for the four days. He was interested to hear of Stonewylde and the potential for films, as he says the film industry is very much in need of exciting new material.
After the lit fest in Poole, Mr B and Kit nipped up to Glastonbury for this lovely Samhain event. A whole group of Stonewylders were dressed splendidly for the fancy dress ball. Everyone enjoyed dancing to the music of Wendy Rule and especially The Dolmen, who always give a wonderful set. Kit and Mr B were really pleased to see Josephine Wall and Linda Ravenscroft (and their husbands) again - their last encounter was at the Elf Fantasy Fair in the Netherlands. This was a fantastic event and there are plans to organise an even greater Stonewylde contingent for next year.
Kit was delighted to speak at this brilliant new literary festival held in the wonderful Lighthouse Arts Centre in Poole. She was in excellent company as other speakers included Michael Morpurgo, Gervase Phinn, Carol Ann Duffy and Minette Walters! Kit was part of the Dorset Delights section and Stonewylde was well received by the audience. Many thanks to Sue Luminati and Tracy for looking after Kit so well - and providing delicious Dorset Apple Cake!
Kit and Mr B spent a fantastic evening at the Gollancz fancy dress party in a smart London art gallery. They enjoyed meeting many members of the publishing team, and other authors, journalists and agents. Kit was officially welcomed into the Gollancz family - a wonderful, spooky evening!
Kit was honoured to be the opening speaker at the second ever lit fest in Charmouth, and to run a workshop as well. This festival was free and aimed particularly at people wishing to write or trying to get published. It was great fun, well attended and the organisers Wendy Knee and Anne Orchard are already planning next year's event! Mr B particularly enjoyed the walk on Charmouth beach with local writer and expert fossil hunter Dr Colin Dawes. Many thanks to the Stonewylde readers who came along especially to meet Kit.
Mr B and I spent a wonderful weekend at Quest in Newton Abbot, hosted by our friends at Mercury Rising Books. I gave two talks about Stonewylde and Reconnecting with Nature, and caught up with many Stonewylde readers and friends. The weather was lovely and we had a great time.
A red Letter day for Stonewylde! Kit is delighted to share the news that she has sold the worldwide publishing rights for Stonewylde to the Orion Publishing Group in an excellent deal! Orion will be re-publishing the existing three titles early in 2011 under their imprint Gollancz, and then in August 2011 the long-awaited fourth book Shadows at Stonewylde will be published in hardback. This is already available to pre-order on Amazon. The Gollancz team are wild about the series and Kit is currently working with her new editor, Gillian Redfearn, on the manuscripts for the fourth and fifth books, and the new covers for the whole series. Kit is extremely grateful to her wonderful agent, Piers Russell-Cobb of MediaFund Ltd. Now at last Stonewylde will be widely available and Kit can concentrate on her writing. Many thanks to all the original and very loyal Stonewylders for their constant support and encouragement.
Spirit & Destiny Magazine - July issue out in June. Kit is part of a special feature in this popular magazine, about women who've been inspired by a mystical or magical experience to completely turn their lives around and actually set up in business. Dustin Hoffman's wife is featured too, and in Kit's double page spread she tells of her strange experiences in the woods with a hare, and later in a labyrinth, which led to her transformation from school teacher to successful author.
The Stonewylde community site grows daily with new members joining all the time. Such are the true friendships (and even some romances!) that have blossomed over the Internet that members like to meet up with each other, often forming local groups. One member, Natureman, had arranged a get-together in Avebury for a few readers, and this rapidly grew in popularity until the meet-up had swelled to Gathering proportions. Fans travelled from all corners of the UK to meet in Avebury, some camping at local sites, some in hotels and B&B's. The Village Hall at Avebury was booked for the day and as it was blazing hot, proved a welcome cool refuge for sunburned fans! People walked around the stones, visited the Long Barrow at West Kennet and generally chilled out in drumming circles and the shade of the trees. It was a really wonderful event (we estimate close on 90 fans turned up) and culminated in the evening with a delicious meal at The Barge Inn at Seend. Many thanks to Natureman for organising the event, and there are already plans afoot for the next one!
Kit and Mr B spent a wonderful afternoon in the grounds of this famous stately home - which was the original inspiration for the concept of Stonewylde. Kit used to drive past the long boundary walls of the estate and imagine a secret and enclosed community behind! Life Education Wessex (whom Kit had contact with during her teaching days) invited her to take part in their charity event, and she thoroughly enjoyed her time in the estate, meeting many old fans who'd come along and new people too. The bluebell woods were truly spectacular, and Richard Drax, the owner and now the new MP for South Dorset, was charming and welcoming, if a little surprised to learn of Kit's strange ideas about his estate!