|Me and Sue outside New Street Station. She's not wearing a top hat, that's part of the Rotunda building behind her...|
After getting drinks we entered the throng - Kim saw us, we said our hellos, I got my name-tag (Sue always takes her own) and we were off. I saw Barbara Copperthwaite by the door, said hello and that I’d catch up with her later and then only saw her briefly just before we left, more’s the pity. I also saw Rachel Gilbey to say the briefest of “hello”’s to and then didn’t see her again either. Sue was on the far side of the room and introduced me to Lindsay Hill, who blogs as Book Boodle and we had a nice chat about writing and reviewing. Shelley Wilson then appeared and it was lovely to see her again - we met at the first Brum gathering in January but got on so well it feels like we’ve known one another ages and today was no exception. As time was getting on, I went to order food then chatted with Shelley and Elaina James, a writer and lyricist who has a western romance (an honest-to-goodness Western!) which is with agents at the moment. It was nice to meet her and compare genres and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s written a western before.
|Linda Hill, me, Shelley Wilson, Elaina James|
We talked about current projects - neither Holly or Linda were fans of horror (to be fair, not many of the bloggers present were) but they were intrigued by Polly, especially when Shelley talked it up too (she’s already read it and enjoyed it). It was also interesting to hear from the other side of the book fence - Linda told us she received 19 books to review this week, a figure I thought was astonishing. She reads upwards of 160 books a year (more than double my tally) and still has a huge backlog, an issue Holly also shares. We talked about blog activity and planning (my aim this year is one post a week, reviewers might be looking for four or five a week, which is a lot of material) and I quickly realised that to get a slot on a bookblog (as I was lucky enough to have at The Haphazardous Hippo when Neats Wilson reviewed three of my books at once) is not to be sniffed at - book-blogging is an under-appreciated art.
|Me and Shelley Wilson|
The event was very well attended and there were a lot of people I didn’t get a chance to speak too - I stood near to one Twitter friend for a big chunk of time, but only managed to say cheerio to her - and all too soon it was time to head off. Reluctantly we said our goodbyes and made our way back to the train station (got rained on again) and the shuttle was already at the platform. We sat down and started talking before realising Shona Lawrence (who runs the Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom blog and lives in nearby Corby) was sitting just up the carriage. Since Sue had met her at the gathering, she joined us for the journey home.
Another excellent, well-organised get-together and - as before - I met some great people, both writers and reviewers. Roll on the next one!