Instead of a post about my writing or some other insight, I’m reporting on my attendance at Credfest last Saturday.
As a mamber of the Exeter Authors Association, I had a table, a workshop and readings to do. Here are a few pictures from the event.
I also made some cupcakes for the visitors.
I’m a big fan of Carrot cake, so that was what I produced and they seemed to be popular.
There was a good turnout for the event and as this was the first one that I’ve attended I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But it was great.
I chatted to customers; my workshop went down well, with good feedback. I was actually told that my suggestions for world building made great sense, someone else admitted that hadn’t been sure what to expect but had been fascinated. There were some excellent readings by the other authors, great poetry and a short extract from Witch!
I think I’ve found some new books to add to my virtual pile!
My readings were also well received, I read a short extract from Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café and another from The Rocks of Aserol.
It’s true that I didn’t sell many books, but I did give away lots of short stories and samples, which may well sow seeds for future sales. And as a new(ish) author it’s about getting the brand out and being recognised. Events like this are great for doing just that. And one lucky person won a copy of Andorra Pett, who knows where that will lead?
The audience got the humour in Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café and laughed in most of the right places, which was a relief, after all, it’s my sense of humour and you never really know if others will find it funny.
The extract that I read is at the end of this post; it’s from a little later in the book than the sample chapter that you may have read HERE.
Now, I have to prepare for Tiverton Literary Festival on Friday. I’m one of the authors you can meet in the Library. We start at 10 am so if you’re local to Tiverton, please pop in and say hello.
Writing wise, I have just about finished Andorra Pett on Mars, the follow-up to Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, and I have an idea for book three in the series, Andorra Pett takes a break.
My Steampunk sequel A new life in Ventis is with beta readers. Dependant on their reaction, I’m working towards publication before Christmas. I also have a couple of other projects in the pipeline. There will be more news on them in the very near future.
Are you interested in how I build words? Would you like a transcript of my workshop with suggestions? Why not let me know, together with your ideas, in the reply box below the post. I’d love to hear from you!
So here’s the extract that I read, Andorra Pett is settling into her new life, running a café. She’s already discovered a secret, and now it seems like someone is after her…….
I’d set my alarm for 4 a.m. again, we had sold nearly all the things I had made yesterday and although Clarissa had provided some pies we still needed fresh bread and more cakes. Cy, for all his enthusiasm, wouldn’t be up till later so it was down to me.
The alarm went off, without bothering with the lights I reached out and turned my hair straighteners on; then I headed for the bathroom. When I came back I watched in horror as the bedroom door started to open, a line of dim light grew slowly as it was pushed from outside. Someone was creeping in. There wasn’t time to put my boiler suit on; at least I was wearing a vest and some shorts to cover my modesty.
I needed a weapon, and quickly. In the dark I climbed across the bed as quietly as I could, aiming for the red light on the bedside table. I pulled the straighteners out of their stand and crept to the wall behind the door. I knew that a burn from them would make you stop what you were doing and think again. A hand appeared and I struck, jabbing the straighteners down on the wrist, catching it between the hot ceramic plates. I squeezed. Hard.
There was a piercing scream and a sizzle as the fibres of the garment covered arm melted and stuck to the skin underneath. There was the smell of bacon frying. The hand disappeared, pulling the straighteners from my grip, they clattered onto the floor. I heard footsteps and someone shouting and sobbing in pain as I pulled the door open and ran into the corridor. It was empty.
I headed into the space behind the counter, the café’s front door was open, the shutters were up; hadn’t we lowered them when we closed up last night? Nothing moved, my maimed burglar can’t have had time to get across the floor and through the door, they must be hiding. How the hell had someone opened the locks? Of course, I hadn’t changed the codes. I must do that.
The room was in part light from Saturn but there were deep shadows. I flipped the light switches and ran to close and lock the door, hopefully whoever was inside would be trapped, surely Cy would have heard the shouting and was even now coming to help me. I had dropped the straighteners and had no weapons, just my anger. How dare someone try and come into MY place?
As I crossed the floor I heard footsteps to one side. I swung my head. I had a brief glimpse of a black-headed figure approaching, the lack of features making it look sinister, and then I was shoulder-charged. The force of the impact shoved me straight into a table. I bounced off and as I flailed around I grabbed at the figure, ripping off whatever was covering its head. They wriggled clear, pushed me into another table and sprinted for the door. I got up and followed them, puffing with the exertion, I needed to get to the gym, if there was one.
As I peered through the door I caught sight of a figure rounding the corner into the main alleyway. I’d never catch them now and my hip was throbbing where I had bounced off the corner of a table.
“What’s going on, Andi?” Cy had appeared, and he hadn’t bothered dressing for the occasion either.
“They got away,” I puffed. “I gave them something to think about.” I showed him the mask I had grabbed, black and woollen; it was like a balaclava helmet without the face-hole. “Look,” he said, there were short blonde hairs stuck in the wool.
“That’s a clue.”
Suddenly, it was all too much for me and I started shaking, Cy held me tight and smoothed my hair. “It’s OK, Andi,” he whispered. “They’ve gone now, that was some scream they gave, what did you do, come out of the bathroom and give them a thrill?”
That wasn’t funny, but it did make me laugh and that helped me calm down a bit.
“I got them with my straighteners.” He winced. “I got their wrist between the plates. Their sleeve melted into the flesh. It smelt like bacon.”
“Well done you, that’ll be sore then! All we need to do is find someone with a crispy fried wrist.”
We suddenly found that funny and just stood there, holding each other, laughing like a couple of crazy fools.