Sunday, 5 June 2011

More About The Festival...(You Deserve To Know All The Details!)

(I know, I know, you're dying for a post from my more articulate, interesting, creative, more talented and less obsessive sister...she'll post soon. Limited access to the internet sucks. Usually there's only one of us online at the same time, because the other's busy and stuff...sorry, non existent readers! You'll have to make do with me for today.)


I went to two workshops. There's a load going on, exhibitions and promoting the arts, and appearances by both adults' and childrens' authors, but we can't get to everything...sadly...

Anyway. In the morning, it was Joe Craig. Needless to say he had everyone laughing and relaxed from the first moment. I was strangely thrilled that he remembered me! Spontaneity was a huge part, about coming up with ideas and stories on the spot, and about how to get kids thinking about reading and writing - if he's coming to somewhere near you, go! Definitely worth it. Even if you're not actually in the age range of his books (like me).

Next up was Sarah Webb. She's written scores of books, but yesterday was mainly about her series for preteens and teenagers, Amy Green: Teen Agony Queen (or as it is being rebranded, Ask Amy Green). Yes, the books are exactly how they sound - very orientated around Amy's family life, her peers, teenage things. Think Cathy Cassidy, only the heavy topics that are touched on are more spread out, you could say. Oh, and very Irish. Even though there is a different setting in every book - from Dublin to West Cork to Miami to Paris and beyond, and then back again - most of the characters are Irish, and you get a real sense of what Irish life is like, mixed in there with everything else that Amy Green faces, just like millions of other kids her age around the world. You'll definitely find out what a 'hot press' is, to say the least.

But let's move on to the actual workshop. We were supposed to meet her in an old building - we turned the corner, and there she was sitting outside - but in the end ended up in the shade of the trees, in the gorgeous sun...she spoke about her early life, what got her into reading and writing, about her first book, and then the Amy Green books. And then, something I couldn't wait for - her actual process of writing. She's a meticulous planner, detailing everything scene by scene on yellow legal notepads - apparently a form of writer's OCD... oh yeah, been there! - and even showed us some of them. Of course, she couldn't give away much about Amy Green Book 4, which is the next in line to be published, though she had the manuscript with her! It was great to hear her particular experience of being an author, and we all got something signed...lovely person, would love to meet her again!

I met Ali Sparkes this morning, but I don't have enough time, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow!


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