Our final day was my absolute favourite of all three. I was filled with so much excitement of the thought that I would get to meet Shelley Day again, I first met and heard about her novel The Confessions Of Stella Moon earlier this year at the Linlithgow Festival. There is something so very special about Ms Day, she has this unique calming quality. I think she’s amazing!
The Festival events kicked off with the phenomenal Catherine Simpson, Karen Dietz and the Dunbar Writing Mums with The Places Between Them. Reading from their anthology Nourish Me, Sister. Each Mum taking to the stage to read their work, with beautiful accompanying music from Karen Dietz. One that resonated with me at the time and has stayed with me was Deborah Ritchie’s Reattachment, it was deeply moving and honest. Up next was Catherine Simpson with readings from her new pamphlet Mrs Carlyle Had Many Lovers when she was asked to be the writer in residence at this year’s festival, she toured Dunbar, absorbing the feeling and core of the town. Catherine did research of the older local records and discovered very little mentions of the woman. This inspired her pamphlet. It’s lovely to add that her daughter designed the cover. Catherine is warm and approachable, it was wonderful to see and hear her read her wonderful work.
We were then treated to three songs by the Dubar Sings Choir, with Karen Dietz. My favourite was Imagine Me & You. A harmonious delight to my ears.
Now my favourite event of the whole festival was next up, Confessions and True Stories with Shelley Day and Catherine Simpson.
With the ladies talking about their books The Confessions Of Stella Moon By Shelley Day and True Story By Catherine Simpson. The hour was simply not long enough. It was extremely surprising to hear just how very hard and anxiety filled the publishing and marketing process really is. Catherine is working on her second novel and has a memoir being published very soon. Shelley has a collection of short stories being released in November and although everyone is shouting from the rooftops for more Stella, she is starting something new, however, Shelley does not rule it out more Stella, perhaps even Moira (Stella’s Mum) in the future.
I was star/ author struck, at being sat in the front row watching and listening to these two impressive, inspirational, genuine ladies. Both with hearts of gold. It was a real honour and a true highlight of my blogging career.
You can purchase the books today.
To end my Festival visit and review I had another luxury of hearing Val McDermid in conversation with Lorna Hill.
Val McDermid shocked me by being extremely funny, her anecdotes of her time as a child growing up in Kirkcaldy and running out of children’s books to read in the library and pinching her mother’s library card were just one of the very funny stories she told. Val explained only the previous night she has finished work on her new Tony Hill & Carol Jordan novel ~ Insidious Intent. It was an interesting hour and a great end to my journey a the CoastWord Festival.
You can purchase your own copy of Out Of Bounds by Val McDermid here Amazon UK
Huge thanks from me to Catherine Simpson and Hannah Lavery for inviting myself and Joanne ~ Portobello Book Blog to be CoastWord Festival, 2017 Bloggers. It was a life moment I will cherish forever. What I take away is how brave all the participants were so open, honest with their words and saying “hello world this is me” with love at the core and how being you is enough! Lovely for the community to come together and celebrate.
Thanks to my other blogging half of this adventure Joanne Portobello Book Blog it was a delight to learn more about you and spend time with you. You made the three days extra special. Thank you.
Much Love CoastWord, see you next year
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