Monday 4 July 2016

KettFest 2016 with Sue Moorcroft

Last year, as part of the KettFest Festival, I did my first solo talk/reading (on the history of horror, which you can read about here) and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I was asked to take part again this year and readily agreed, though I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  After having a conversation with my friend Sue Moorcroft, we decided to team up and talk about our creative processes.  “We love talking about writing,” she said, “why not let’s do it in front of others?”  It was a great idea, I was just worried about how we’d stop after 50 minutes…
Sue had been away in Malta so although we’d planned to meet one evening at The Trading Post and go through our plan for the day, we couldn’t fit it in.  Instead, we met at The Kino Lounge in town at 11, spent fifteen minutes talking about what we could do and the rest of the time catching up.  At 12.15, we got to the library, introduced ourselves and went over to our corner.  The first person we met was Mick Arnold, who’s in the RNA with Sue (and who I met at the first Brum writer/blogger bash) and then my Uncle Philip called in to wish us luck.  After chatting with him, Sue & I set up our tables - one for the books, one for us - and waited for the audience to file in.  Alison & Dude arrived, my old chum Jon turned up with his son, Susan from my writing group was there, Darren Paterson came along - he & I have been friends on social media for a while but, apart from a brief meeting on Rothwell High street, this was our first proper meeting even though we live in the same town - and Councillor Mick Scrimshaw, who supported my event last year.  Andrea, Sue’s friend whose real life experiences provided the basis of the plot of Sue’s next novel, was there as well as half a dozen other folk.
At 12:30, we kicked off.  Sue talked about her forthcoming novel from Avon Books, The Christmas Promise and I shared the story of how Drive came about.  There were a couple of questions from the audience, which we answered and went off at tangents with, we asked each other questions, we took more questions from the floor and the fifty minutes went by so quickly we ended up taking the hour.  Great fun for us and, thankfully, the audience seemed to enjoy it too.
Still talking with my hands...
Afterwards, I chatted with Darren and a lady who was interested in starting writing, sold a couple of books, signed a couple of books and talked more about writing.  What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday lunchtime.

As everyone drifted off, Sue, Mick, Andrea and I went back to the Kino Lounge for lunch.  We chatted - about politics, writing and tattoos - watched the weather change - from overcast to monsoon to sunny - and ate our bacon buttys.  Andrea was surprised Sue & I had never done an event together before, since we apparently synced in well (thanks, no doubt, to all those evenings in The Trading Post and the long journeys to and from FantasyCon and Edge-Lit) and it definitely gave me the taste to do more.  Maybe next year…

Thanks to Jo Selby-Green for organising the Fest, Mick Arnold for the photographs and everyone who came, especially those who asked a question.


  1. It was a fab afternoon, Mark. Will share an event with you any time. :-)

  2. Great post, Mark. What a great way for both of you to share your writing journey and your wonderful books. As you know, I could listen to you chat about writing for hours!! ;-)

  3. Sorry I missed your session - but wasn't KettFest good again this year?

  4. Fab post, Mark. Looks and sounds as though the event was a huge success. Congratulations! :) X