Saturday 7 August.

Venue? St James the Great churchyard, Colwall, Herefordshire.

Occasion? 9.00 am, the opening Saturday of the inaugural Colwall Arts festival, that prestigious and long-awaited new cultural blockbuster of the Malvern Hills. My first ever live marketing event.

Me? Lone writer with tiny gazebo among 30 other artists and craftspeople, all with handsome marquees, housing luscious exhibits of terrific paintings, ceramics, handmade clothes, arts and crafts of all descriptions.

Weather? Dodgy, with outlook getting dodgier. Winds rising to 30-40 mph, rain ranging from looming to torrential. Sun? Nowhere to be seen. Standard British summer, in other words.

Can she do it? Well, I did have with me a leading expert on pitching tents sideways on mountains in life-threatening storms, the current Mr Rogers. Who held his finger up, muttered something meteorological, and positioned my little gazebo in exactly the right direction. He even helped out with selling the stock while I was pressed into service entertaining the generous crowds with readings from The Governor’s Man.

My books and I survived this:

How to sell books

We even managed this.

Book lovers and author

Thirteen copies of The Governor’s Man changed hands, many people lingered under brollies to chat and take away business cards and bookmarks. I had four cups of tea, and nothing got irretrievably damp.

I call that an unmitigated success. Especially the cups of tea.


  1. Just saying – next year, I hope to be available to do readings if you would like! If I get back to the UK, of course. But that looks such fun and it is in the middle of a wonderful bit of the UK.

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