Well it is now 11th July and the Bradford Literature Festival has been and gone. The Festival Hub (aka the ‘tent’ or the ‘bouncy book castle’) has been deflated, we’ve waved goodbye to our coffee cart (leaky drip-tray and all) and the tactical paddling pool outside the back in the shade and moved all the blue crates of books back to the store. Where they are now being made into a big, blue fort as is traditional…There will be a lot more work to do before everything is back to normal but, in the meantime, here are a few of the events I managed to get pictures of.
First up was A A Dhand’s book launch for City of Sinners. I’ve already reviewed the book so here is a shot of the crowd (I didn’t get one of the moment where Amit’s young son crawled onto his lap during a description of a body hanging from our lovely roof ) and one of the chocolates he left us to give away with signed copies over the rest of the weekend. We’ve done launch events for all three books now and each one just gets better.
On the first Saturday I did a bookstall at the University for an event with David Starkey – a very interesting and well-attended talk on Henry VIII as the first Brexiteer. Sunday was spent in the store where we had a variety of children’s events. They featured dinosaurs and astronauts but our favourite, as you can see, was The Wilbies go to the Moon because we got to meet Minnie Winnie – the heroine of the story. She may be a wonder of science, being Britain’s first cloned dog, but she also loved cuddles and was wonderful with the children as well as with booksellers…
Sadly our main event on Monday was cancelled since the author had been unable to board a flight from Canada. I had planned to do a bookstall on Tuesday too – for the splendid Suzi Quatro – but she had her own merchandiser with her (after all, she’s been touring for years…) so I was able to get home and watch the football. From between my fingers but I still watched it! I had a couple of days off so missed a great CND event in the shop on Wednesday – jazz band and all!
The second Saturday was a combination of ‘Under the Sea’ day in City Park (which probably explains the giant lobster) and Brontës in the Midland Hotel. I was at the Midland but didn’t get inside the events until the evening when I totally failed to get any photos of Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, Jeanette Winterson and Michael Stewart talking about the Brontë Stones Project. Far too busy trying to keep up with demand for book sales – what did I expect with that line-up!
Finally, on the last day we had another round of children’s authors in the shop – featuring a monster who was afraid of a scary story, some puffins called Steve, a Fairytale Hairdresser and a spider called Sarah. But we finished off with the excellent Matty Long in the Super Happy Magic Forest. Or, in my case, a Super Happy Magic Literature Festival!
It was all brilliant and, once we’ve all had a rest, we’ll start looking forward to next year…