Thursday, 17 May 2012

Derbyshire Book Festival

Derbyshire Book Festival is a biennial event held in various locations up and down the county from libraries and community centres to stately homes and industrial heritage sites, running this year from May 11th - 20th. The slightly strange thing about it is that it doesn't include the City of Derby where we live - which makes it harder for city residents to find out about it. Also although the various venues mean that something is probably happening locally, it also means that some events are at quite a distance - I particularly would have liked to see Edward Hogan, having read and loved both his adult novels The Hunger Trace and Blackmoor and his teen thriller, Daylight Saving, but he was 'on' in Glossop - 50 miles or 1 1/2 hours of travelling away.

This year's highlights include TV's Evan Davies talking about his Made In Britain book, Joanne Harris on the sequel to Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes and Claire Tomalin talking about her biography of Charles Dickens, among many others.

Unfortunately with the festival falling at the start of our Teen's GCSEs it wasn't possible to go everywhere and see everything, so we picked a local early evening one - Paula Rawsthorne and Dan Tunstall, both writers for Teens, talking about their work at Duffield Library.
There wasn't a lot of available space but the event was packed with a mix of teens and wannabe authors. Although mainly pitched at the teenage part of the audience, everyone seemed engrossed as Paula and Dan read from their books and shared their experiences on the road to publication. We've met Paula before at the launch of The Truth About Celia Frost and interviewed her for the blog It was lovely to see her again and we're now looking forward to her next teen novel, out soon. I'm also planning a trip to the library to track down Dan's books.
 Something I particularly liked was that while after the readings there was the customary book-signing and -selling, the library had stocked up on both authors' books ready to loan them - especially helpful with books aimed at teens who won't necessarily have ready cash to spend on books.

As we are publishing this on Thursday and the festival is not over until Sunday 20th May then you may like to check it out and see if there is something on locally for you to enjoy.

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