I was very honoured to be invited to this special celebratory event, held in the beautiful Royal Geographical Society buildings right next to Hyde Park. I was attending as one of the guest authors with a little signing session, but was free to enjoy the rest of the day and attend the many talks and workshops on offer. It was absolutely brilliant! I listened to Emma Restall-Orr, Caitlin Matthews and Philip Carr-Gomm amongst others, and finally got to meet one of my heroes, Professor Ronald Hutton, who gave Stonewylde such glowing reviews several years ago. We also saw our friends from the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Karen Cater of Hedingham Fair, Morgan of Pagan Dawn and Kate and Corwen of Ancient Music, to name a few. The whole day was such fun and it was lovely to be hosted for my booksigning by the famous Atlantis Bookshop. Mr B and I really had a great day - many thanks to Chris Crowley and all the hard-working organisers from the PF and see you next year!
When I was booked to do a signing event in Eastbourne a few months ago, I'd imagined that October 1st would be chilly and windy with the town battening down for winter. How wrong I was! It was a glorious day, warmer than most of the summer had been, and I had a lovely time in the Waterstone's branch with a jazz busker playing outside and people wandering around in summer clothes. It was great to meet up with several of our Stonewylde forum members who'd travelled down specially, and when the signing was over Mr B and I had a very large and decadent ice-cream and then went for a walk up towards Beachy Head, finishing our perfect day with a paddle in the sea!
I spent a morning in the beautiful Broad Street branch of Waterstone's in Reading signing copies of Stonewylde and meeting readers. I was busy chatting with a long-standing forum member (who gave me a gorgeous bracelet) when we were joined by a man I haven't seen since a parents' evening long ago in Weymouth during my teaching days! What a strange old world it is, with so many links and threads in the web. Holly who works at this branch and is now a complete Stonewylde addict looked after me and had me sign her personal copies too. Many thanks to all at the branch for hosting me.
I was interviewed by Martyn Drake in Waterstone's, Guildford after I'd run a Writer's Workshop for young people. Find out what I said about becoming an author, the launch of Shadows at Stonewylde and the book tour, the future of Stonewylde and the exciting possibility of film, TV and audio books. I also talk about the growing community of fans and using social media to promote my books. And then ... hear what I have to say about the fifth and final book in the series!
Despite it being a pretty miserable Friday morning, I had a great time in the Woking Waterstone's branch and signed many copies of Stonewylde books for new readers. It was lovely as ever to see some of my original readers too - as with all my events, I can't stress enough how much I appreciate people making the effort to come along and say hi.
Dorcia and David of Guildford Waterstone's hosted me for the first Writing Workshop for teens. I spent almost an hour with a lovely group of ten youngsters and had a really fun time talking about writing and doing some activities together. Other Stonewylders came along too, and I also did a quick interview for a little podcast. This was a great event and I really enjoyed working with young people again - I hope they enjoy my books as much!
Having only just returned from the Avebury Book Launch, Mr B and I then embarked on a mini book-tour of the South West. In three days we attended five events and had a brilliant time. We went to the Paignton Children's Festival and signed books for Torbay Books, the famous shop owned by Matthew and Sarah Clarke. It was lovely to see some very special Stonewylders at this event, but we soon had to leave to dash right across Dartmoor to the north to the Walter Henry's Bookshop in Bideford. Again we were delighted to see some familiar faces who'd turned up specially, and meet new readers too.
We spent the night in a beautiful hotel in the middle of Dartmoor, but next morning were greeted with almost torrential rain as we drove to Plymouth's New George St Waterstone's branch. A whole crowd of Stonewylders awaited us and we spent a fantastic morning there, selling many copies of all four books. The afternoon saw us in Tavistock, at Book Stop, which was lovely.
After a great evening in Fowey eating fish and chips and just missing the firework display, we drove down into Cornwall to be greeted by Cornmother and a celebration bottle of bubbly! Sunday morning saw us in Truro Waterstone's, where more fans turned up to support us and several new readers discovered Stonewylde. Then we made the long trip home feeling all in a daze after so many people and places. Many thanks to the five shops who hosted us and all the fans who turned up to say hello and get their books signed. More photos will be on the blog.
My book launch party for loyal members of the Stonewylde social network group was held on the day of the Corn Moon, August's full moon. I'd hired the village hall again for the day, and people turned up in their droves to have their copies of the new books signed. The event was brilliant thanks to the team of Stonewylders who organised it all, from making name badges to deter gate-crashers to decorating the place with bunting, serving tea and coffee all day and bringing along delicious cakes and treats to share. Orion Books sent along their marketing person with a camera crew to film some of the event, whilst The Henge Bookshop sold all four of the new editions of Stonewylde at a huge discount, and offered extra discount to the fans in their wonderful shop.
The day was absolutely brilliant if somewhat hectic and I must have signed hundreds of books in total. One very special Stonewylder, known to us as Swampy, had organised a camping rally in nearby Calne for folk who'd travelled from afar (Ireland and Switzerland and all corners of the UK) and many of us camped for a few days. On the night of the Corn Moon, my lovely fans decorated the dingy and cobwebby indoor BBQ area we'd hired into a beautiful version of the Great Barn, and it was such an amazing surprise! We had a fantastic party and I just wish I hadn't been so tired. Two people had made special Stonewylde cakes (no, not ceremony ones!) which we shared, and another who couldn't make it had sent over bottles of mead! The whole event was one I shall never forget - we're now all excited about the next Moongazy Camp in May 2012.
The very first book signing event for the fourth and long-awaited Stonewylde title, Shadows of Stonewylde, was held in Dorchester Waterstone's because this was the bookshop closest to my old hometown of Weymouth where I wrote the series. This shop, in its previous life as Ottakers, was one of the very first places to stock my first book under their "local authors" section and it seemed right and proper to return to my Dorset roots for the first signing for this fourth book.
The lovely team of staff did me proud, and there were queues of readers waiting to buy Shadows almost all day. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces: people I'd known for so many years but hadn't seen in ages, children I used to teach (now all grown up) and their parents, readers I'd never met before - so many people that I was really overwhelmed. We sold out of books eventually and I was delighted that the day had been such a great success.
Shadows at Stonewylde was published in hardback on August 4th - at long last! This long-awaited fourth book is available and I've arranged lots of events so you can buy a signed copy.