I was lucky enough to be invited to the Guildford Book Festival Reader’s Day by the lovely Kerrie over at Ilovedreadingthis which this year took place on 13th October. I’d never met Kerrie before but we’d got to know each other through Instagram, then Twitter. We had a great day together, chatted lots and will hopefully see each other again lots more times in the future!
The day took place at the Guildford Harbour Hotel and the cost was £42 which included an opportunity to listen to the authors, get books signed, a light lunch, refreshments and a goody bag.
Women and Home’s Fanny Blake, was host and asked all the authors really interesting questions. First up were debut authors Libby Page (author of The Lido) and A J Pearce (author of Dear Mrs Bird), whose books are themed around unlikely friendships. Both authors spoke about the process of writing their first novels and how they got published.
Next up were best-selling authors Sarah Vaughan and Louise Candlish. Sarah’s latest book, An Anatomy of a Scandal, is a Richard and Judy autumn pick. Drawing on her experiences as a journalist both in courtrooms and at Westminster, Anatomy of a Scandal is part courtroom drama, part study of marriage and is an exciting psychological thriller. Louise’s latest book (now a Sunday Times Bestseller), Our House is a domestic thriller about Fiona who comes home one day to find her house sold to another couple and her ex-husband and children no where to be seen. Both books some really exciting and it was interesting to hear the stories and inspiration behind them.
After lunch, we were back to listen to Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes. Ruth came to writing quite late in life after a car accident forced her to give up work. She was a great speaker telling us how about her love of cemeteries inspired her to write Sally Red Shoes, a book centred around grief and friendship.
Finally after a coffee break we got to hear from Joanna Trollope. I must admit, this was the talk I was least interested in (as I haven’t read any of her books) but she was a funny and entertaining speaker, who gave a great reading from her latest novel An Unsuitable Match. I especially liked her story about her receiving her OBE from the Queen.
The day rounded off at 4pm. I was very impressed with the organisation – there was plenty of time for coffee and loo breaks. The catering was good (coffee and pastries at the start), lovely sandwiches for lunch and more hot drinks and snacks in between each talk. The authors were a great mix and I definitely hope to attend again next year.