Now, if you came along today, you will know that our poet, A.F.Harrold, did not whisper. I am sure that he is capable of doing so, if push comes to shove, but as a general rule, he does not. However, we were also visited by Karen McCombie, whose latest book is The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall, and I like to make a mash-up (get me, down with the kids) when I’m thinking up blog titles about multiple events.
Karen, the undeniable Queen of Tween, shared her journey from painfully shy little girl, to a highly prolific author. It was, as all of the authors have been, inspiring to hear that a great deal of hard work and a little encouragement really can bring you success. A lot of talent helps too of course, and Karen has that in bucket loads. Her key pieces of advice: never throw away your diaries because they can be used for ideas, and always carry a notebook with you – people’s lives are fascinating, so use them. One of the things about Karen’s writing, which is so great, is that her books range ages, genres and themes. Interestingly though, Karen said that she prefers to write in the first person, as it helps her to ‘get inside the head of the characters.’
This afternoon, the force of nature that is Ashley Harrold (aka A.F.Harrold) burst onto the stage. It’s very difficult to find the words to do Ashley’s performance justice. Here’s a selection: energetic, exhausting, loud, fast-paced, loud… Ashley draws the audience together with his superbly engaging poetry readings. I say ‘readings’, but Ashley performs them without a book in his hands, using every part of the space that he finds himself in. And the audience loved it!
I feel exhausted, yet incredibly honoured and happy to have seen both Karen and Ashley today. Their books are outstandingly wonderful, as are they.
Tomorrow’s schedule promises to be unmissable, so don’t! We have Andy Robb in the morning, followed by Pete Johnson in the afternoon, both at Brentwood Theatre. Come along!