This weekend I made my way down south from my home in Yorkshire to the town of Tamworth in the West Midlands to take part in an event called Romancing the Word. This whole day devoted to romantic fiction was organised by book blogger Tina Williams as part of Tamworth LitFest. Tina and Caroline Barker blog for the review site A Reader’s Review, and were the first bloggers ever to review one of my books. Their review site is great and well worth checking out. (There is a quote from Caroline Barker’s review on the cover of The Silk Romance, and one from Tina Williams’ review on the flyleaf of The Antique Love.)
Tamworth is only about half an hour away from where I went to school as a teenager. It was great to hear the accent I grew up with – and which I still retain for lots of words, despite my many years “oop north”! It’s a lovely place, and full of history. The church of St Editha’s – where I gave my workshop on romantic conflict, and where several other author talks took place – is absolutely magnificent, dating back to medieval times. (The ladies’ loos are in the crypt, and it’s an eerie experience to be alone there under the church, surrounded by 14th century stonework!)
Here’s a photo of the church grounds:
And here are all my books laid out in a side room in the church, ready for my workshop:
What a stunning place to give a talk – and especially a talk on romance! There was a lovely group for my workshop…and this is how we spent the morning:
There were several other romance authors taking part in the event. Here are some photos from the library where we signed our books:
With Tina Williams (top) and Caroline Barker (bottom):
Taking a stroll round Tamworth:
It was wonderful to be able to spend the day talking about books, writing, and romance – my favourite subjects! – in such lovely surroundings.
Here in the UK literature festivals are becoming more and more popular, and I think it’s wonderful to see. There are two festivals closer to home for me – in Ilkley and Bradford – which both started off small and now attract big names in publishing. At a time when there are so many demands on people’s attention – computers, gaming, Netflix, and thousands of TV channels – it’s really heartening to see that people still just love a good book and welcome the chance to meet with authors and other book lovers.
How about you? Do you have any literature festivals near you? Or anything specifically devoted to romance? Do you enjoy going to bookish events, and if you’re a writer, have you attended any events yourself?
If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!