The Edinburgh International Book Festival has been a firm fixture in my diary over the last few years. August just wouldn’t be August without some sunny (or more likely, cold and rainy!) days in Charlotte Square. Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities, and the festival is always great fun – I’ve so enjoyed the chance to visit each year, when the various Children’s Laureates have been appearing as part of the Book Festival programme.
So this year, I couldn’t have been more delighted to be appearing at the Book Festival as an author myself! On Saturday, I joined fellow debut author Gabrielle Kent for an event entitled Crime Solvers and Mystery Keepers, as part of the children’s programme.
It was lovely to meet Gabrielle and have the chance to chat to her – I really enjoyed her book, Alfie Bloom and the Secret of Hexbridge Castle, published by Scholastic.
This is the story of young hero Alfie Bloom, whose life changes dramatically when he inherits a mysterious old castle concealing some strange (and dangerous) secrets. A shape-shifting solicitor, an enigmatic butler, a flying bearskin rug and a pair of truly horrible villains all appear in this very entertaining magical adventure.
Alfie and his gang of friends have a Famous Five vibe that I really like – so it was no surprise to discover at the event that Gabrielle is a fellow Blyton fan! Her day job is lecturing in computer game design, and it was really interesting to hear about how this influences her writing – she talked about how she envisioned certain scenes in the book being like a level in a computer game.
We had a really great time chatting on stage, chaired by the brilliant Lindsey Fraser, who gave the children in the audience the chance to ask us lots of questions. We talked about everything from writing tips to whether we’d like our books to be made into films (a resounding YES PLEASE!) to Harry Potter.
Afterwards we signed books in the festival bookshop where we got to meet lots of the children who came along.
I also had chance to pay a quick visit to Waterstones on George Street where I was pleased to espy The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow on display!
Needless to say there was time for lots of other Edinburgh treats and fun times – including going to amazing vintage ice-cream parlour Mary’s Milk Bar and visits to Peter’s Yard to eat lots of BUNS – a definite Edinburgh essential.
Thanks so much for a wonderful weekend Edinburgh Book Festival – hope to see you again next year!