Durham Book Festival…And Squirrels

Today I bought my tickets to the Durham Book Festival. What is the Durham Book Festival, I hear you all ask?  Essentially the festival is a collection of shows over a three-week period, where a variety of different authors, poets and the like talk for an hour or so on their work, their experiences or perhaps just something they are interested in. You look through the programme, choose the ones you want to see and then buy the admission tickets.

Oh did you want a better description? How about you look on the website (linked here) yourself then? Honestly. You’d think I was a writer or something…

Anyway there were a few different talks that I was interested in, so with a little bit of help from my aunt, I went ahead and booked my seat. I whittled my shortlist down to three; a talk with PD James and Ian Rankin (big names in crime fiction), three female crime fiction authors discussing their first novels and a humourous physics talk with one of my favourite comedians, Ben Miller.

Unfortunately I was too late to get a ticket for the Ben Miller show, but I still have some hope that they might be selling some on the day. I’m not holding out too much hope of getting one but hey, may as well as take the chance right? I might get lucky. In all honesty it’s my own fault for not buying the tickets sooner. I still think that I would have probably missed out though. I bet they were sold out after a week. He’s popular is Ben.

But I’m not going to be too disheartened about missing out on him because I think the two shows that I will see have enough benefits to make the bus fare to Durham worthwhile. I’m even more determined to finish my book than ever before (nearing the 80,000 word mark now) so now is really the perfect time to hear about the experiences of these authors that have already ‘made it’. Hopefully I’ll pick up a few tips that will help me get to that stage too. Or maybe I’ll just be inspired to head home and knock out a couple thousand words. Either way I’m happy.

Going to the festival is also a significant step towards me getting myself noticed too. I probably won’t speak to anybody, but this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. If it goes well, I could be encouraged to go to another event where I might actually get the chance to be involved in some way. Networking is really important in trying to forge a career in writing, so I need to build up my confidence and start putting myself out there. I need to make myself heard. This is me moving in the right direction. And who knows, I could end up sitting next to somebody who could help me out in some way. I won’t know until I go.

But even if nothing happens I still hope to enjoy myself. The shows aren’t until the end of October but I’ll make sure to bring it up again closer to the time, and I’ll let you know how I got on once it’s all over.

And in other news the Red Squirrel Project in Cornwall has stated that to bring back red Squirrels, we need to kill the greys. The project leaders are  attempting to introduce captive bred red squirrels into the county over the next five years. I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned this or not, but the rapid increase of the American Grey Squirrel in the UK, which has consequently led to the declining population of our native red squirrels, is something I feel strongly about.

Well sort of. In all honesty I use it to have a few cheap digs at my American friends, even though it is a Victorian banker who is to blame. Jests aside, it is quite shocking how bad these squirrels are, as not only do they indirectly kill off our lovely red squirrels, they also damage the environment to the tune of £50 million a year!

As a result I am 100% behind this project. So much so, in fact, that I have decided to volunteer my services to this project if my writing fails to take off the way I would like it to. Consider it my career plan B; shooting and killing grey squirrels. Obviously I’d want a healthy wage but you can guarantee I wouldn’t stop until every grey squirrel in my area is furry feet up. That is my pledge.

What can I say? I just hate squirrels.

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4 thoughts on “Durham Book Festival…And Squirrels”

  1. What a weird mix of stories in this blog. haha Anyways… The festival sounds lovely. I have a whole notebook of “book” ideas that I have kept beside me for about four years now… I have always wanted to write a novel, but I find it too hard to start. I wish you the best of luck and hope you get some great contacts!! 🙂

    1. I saw the squirrel story and thought, ‘hell, put that in there too’ 😛
      Ah I’ve had about 3 efforts at a novel before this one, this is the first time I’ve properly planned it and it’s paying off. It helps that I’ve got a solid storyline too 😛
      Thank you 🙂

      1. How did you plan it might I ask.. Do you write an outline? Or do you just start writing? The hardest part for me is starting… I can get a story line and characters and pretty much figure out what I want to happen, and small “inner stories” but damn that first page!!!!

      2. Uh, yes. I outlined it, then made it more defined every time until I had it almost in scenes.
        Normally I just started writing and eventually ran out of ideas. I think that is your issue!

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