Well I made it and FoW2012 was even better than I imagined.
It was a sunny weekend and York campus is a pretty place with water and ducks and lovely open air spaces to relax in after being indoors for long sessions. I met writers whose books I loved, twitter friends- it was great to see them in person and I attended some really interesting workshops.
It took a bit of courage to travel and meet people with my new addition, the wig. I took the short one as it feels safer and I was going to be in it ALL the time. I compared wig shopping to shoe shopping last blog and Ive discovered that wig wearing is like shoe wearing too. Wig goes on and feels comfy; I could wear it all day. Half way through the day wig feels hot and less comfy, a bit scratchy but OK. Back to room and the chance to slip it off, oh the bliss of removing hot, scratchy stupid wig. The advantage is no hair washing, blow-drying or bed-head. Give it a shake and its back on and feels quite comfy again.
It was a wonderful relief to be with a whole group of people who didnt know Id been ill and didnt ask how I was. I love my friends and family but they never let me forget I need to take it easy etc. No one stared at my head either so I think wig passed the test or people were polite.
Anyway back to writing. My Friday evening workshop was on e-publishing. A great introduction to this by the lovely, talented Talli Roland, I have all her novels on my kindle, and a very knowledgeable e-published author, David Gaughran. I will add links to their websites.
Talli mentioned two things about blogs that had me biting my nails. The first thing was to stick to your name because youre easier to find. Should I be changing New Hen on the Blog to Chrissie Bradshaws blog? I wonder what others think. She has a point, but now Ive started as this, should I stay with it a while? Let me know if you have a view on the naming of blogs.
Her second warning has led me to believe that it might be a good idea to keep my current blog name for a while. She talked about your author persona and keeping it true, but in keeping with your novels – a brand, if you like. My blog is writing, hen friends and me and is intended to be upbeat but my trials of illness have crept in because it is a big part of me right now. I hope my overcoming the adversity of wig-wearing etc. is coming across as the peculiar things we face in life and doesnt sound like bleating. Please post to me if it does!
Perhaps Ill keep Chrissie Bradshaws blog for when she is healthy, published and has her own flowing locks again ….long wait!
Other festival highlights were JoJo Moyes keynote speech about her journey as a writer. Going with your gut, writing your best story and how disasters can be turned around were all messages that struck home. She didnt gloss over failure, her three unpublished novels in a drawer stage, and that was encouraging. I just have to write two more for the drawer then Im on my way!
Im not a thriller writer but I enjoy them and I made a written confession explaining why I murdered Mary in Claire McGowans session. I created a fiesty character in an interesting new way who could feature for a future novel , in Julie Cohens workshop. There was more writing while I was Breaking the Rules with the fascinating Sam Mills: I owned up to being the needle that sent Sleeping Beauty to sleep.
It was a weekend of learning the ropes, meeting agents and publishers and, best of all, writing fun that ended all too soon. I slept very well Sunday night.