Here's my lovely group of Essex writing friends at our first Essex Writers' Panel event, this afternoon at Halstead Library as part of the Essex Book Festival.
From left to right, Maureen Lee, Fay Cunningham, myself, Fenella Miller and Jean Fullerton (who did a great job as our chairperson, keeping us all in order and making sure none of us did more than our fair share of yakking!).
The event went really well: Halstead is a lovely library in a beautiful small Essex town, and the people were all so friendly and welcoming. We all chatted a little about ourselves and our writing, and then answered questions from the audience.
In fact we could have gone on answering questions for the rest of the day, they were all so lively and interested!
As you know I give quite a few talks to various groups on my own, and I enjoy it, but being part of this panel is a whole different experience - great fun, especially as we all get along well together (it does help!) and we all write different types of books so each of us brings something different to the discussions. Actually although we advertise ourselves as a panel of five, I think they are getting real value, as I am there both as Sheila Norton and Olivia Ryan!
We all enjoy giving something back to the libraries, as they provide such an important service - and an important part of our income through the Public Lending Right payments. Now we've done our 'inaugural' event as a panel, we're looking forward to further events we've got booked, after the end of the Book Festival. If they're all equally successful, I think we'll be very happy!