Posts Tagged ‘Wirksworth Festival’

Earlier this year I was honoured to be invited to take part in a peformance at the Wirksworth Festival. Titled ‘Inspired,’ the evening showcased local artists and performers talking about their work and their inspiration.

It took place last Tuesday at Wirksworth Town Hall.  Seni Seneviratne read some of her moving and beautifully written poetry about growing up in Leeds as a child of Sri Lankan heritage. George Grignon spoke very engagingly about how he became a musician, and played us some of the music he loved as a teenager. Photographer Kate Bellis showed some of her recent work documenting the lives of Derbyshire hill farmers, and talked about her motivations. And I presented a short talk on how my version of Kikimora came to life while I was struggling to write a ghost story.

Public speaking is most definitely not my natural environment. I was in a state of constant, stomach-churning panic from about two weeks before the event. But somehow it all came off flawlessly. And I must admit, it was very gratifying when people told me the story of Kikimora’s genesis intrigued them to read the novel.

You can read an edited transcript of my talk here.

Thank you to Pam Taylor and Debi Hedderwick for inviting me, and to compere Paddy Turner for talking to me calmly and soothingly pre-performance. Thank you also to the audience, who listened attentively and laughed in the right places.

Below are a few photographs from the evening, courtesy of Phil Richards.

Emma at Inspired talking about classic fairy tale illustration by Edmund Dulac

Emma reading from Kikimora at Inspired

You can barely even see the fear in my eyes

Kate Bellis at Inspired

Seni Seneviratne at Inspired

Darklands on the WI stall

Darklands taking up a corner of the WI stall

Celebrating Cromford was a great success for Darklands.

I took a tiny corner of the WI stall (selling handmade bags, jewellery, etc) for a my flyer and a stack of books (I offered to pay a share of the stall cost, but they wouldn’t hear of it).

I bumped into lots of old friends, as well as meeting some new people. My mum proved an excellent salesperson (“Have you seen my daughter’s book? It’s very good.”) And I sold (and signed) seventeen copies of Darklands (while others around me complained of slack trade. I’m afraid it did rain quite a bit). Now I just hope my new customers enjoy it, and leave me some good reviews.

I would have tried to wangle myself a place on another stall today – but there are only three copies left from my big box of books, and I’m sure my mum will shift those for me pretty soon 😀

This is very encouraging, and has fired up my enthusiasm for promotion. I’m hoping to fit in a school visit early in July (but timetabling is proving tricksy), and I would very much like to get involved in the Wirksworth Festival. Wirksworth is a larger town than Cromford, and is where I went to school. The festival is also a lot larger and very well established. I will know LOADS of people there, so it could be a really good promotion (and sales) opportunity.

Exciting times!