The last two weeks I have been all over the place celebrating book week and preparing for the launch of Beauty Sleep. I can’t get over how lucky I am that this is part of my job – thanks to all the lovely schools and book shops that have welcomed me so far. We’ve laughed and cried and I met Hercule Potatoe Two more weeks to go – in which I return to my old school for the first time in 34 years. Nervous. Moi? It’s keeping me from my beauty sleep…
Credit Karen Abrams
Credit Marie Basting
Beauty Sleep is available in all it’s shiny glory from all good book shops! Foyles Charing Cross and Forbidden Planet have signed copies!
I had an amazing book week earlier this year but I haven’t posted about it yet for reasons that will become apparent…
First stop was Torbridge High in Plymouth, where they matched their book of the week poster with my galaxy hair! This was such a lovely welcoming school, I had a fabulous day.
I travelled North via Bath fulfilling a dream to visit this amazing city… I even got a chance to swim in the legendary spa waters – though not these ones, that’s not allowed…
I arrived in Gloucester, where even though it snowed, only one school cancelled. I arrived early at a very organised Katherine Lady Berkeley School:
I caught up with wonderful author Bryony Pearce before moving on to Wycliffe where they absolutely spoiled me rotten!
I was so glad I made it. It started snowing pretty seriously and my next school had to cancel but I squeezed in one more, and I’m so glad I did, Dean Close School was an absolute delight – they even put me up for an extra night because I got snowed in!
Thankfully I got back in time for a Very Important Fencing Competition in London. If I came in the top 3, I had a high chance of being selected to represent Great Britain. And guess what?
Unfortunately I didn’t get selected – I’ve missed a lot of competitions from injury and illness and I don’t have experience of fencing abroad – all things to work on – one day it’ll happen!
After the competition I headed back to the South West for the Concorde Book Awards which was HUGE fun . I won Author Top Trumps and Author 101 but I was only runner up in the actual award which went to Joshua Khan – curse him! Still, I did get to hear the pupils talking about More of Me which was amazing!
And then…I was laid low by the flu. And that is why this post didn’t get written because there is no pushing through with the flu. No amount of Lemsip will make your limbs work, or your brain function in a normal way so I gave in and spent a fortnight quietly editing my new book from my sofa.
To be fair, there are worse places to work…
I’m fully recovered now, my edits have been turned in and I’m nearly finished writing my third book so it’s about time I caught up on blogging.
P.s. I’ve already got two schools booked in for Book Week 2019, so do get in touch with Author’s Abroad if you’d like to book me. I’ve got something super exciting planned for next spring too – because after a mere three years, I’ll have a new book! There’ll be a new talk on Self Esteem and Social Media that will definitely feature my very swollen lips after an encounter with tooth whitening toothpaste…
Kathryn Evans is an award winning author and accomplished public speaker – if you’d like to book her for an event, please contact Authors Abroad.
In which I nearly miss the most exciting event of my writing life.
Last year I was invited to take part in Edinburgh International Book Festival. I was very over excited – it was my first major event as a published author and I had a hard job believing I was actual there….
In my actual life.
Jo Cotterill held my hand and we put on a pretty good show. We laughed a lot. AND THEN…
You’d think I’d have calmed down a bit after a year wouldn’t you? Well…non. I was even more excited because I knew how much fun I was going to have. I had two events planned, and it was my turn to hold the hand of a new girl – a real honour that was too because I loved Penny Joelson’s unusual debut, I Have No Secrets. But firstly…firstly I was on a panel discussing gender in books and toys, hosted by South East Scotland SCWBI co-ordinators Sarah Broadley and Anita Gallo. And on the panel with me….
JONATHAN STROUD AND DAVID LEVITHAN.
I nearly wee’d myself when I found out.
I am so not cool, but it’s true.
I devoured Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood series and David Levithan wrote one of my all time EVER favorite books, Everyday. And I was on a panel. With them both.
The big day arrived – I had a comfortable six hours between arriving in Scotland and going on stage. So comfortable I planned to see Tanya Landman and Laura Dockrill’s event before my own. I arrived at the airport super early, paranoid, as ever, about being late, and checked in my bag (too big for the cabin because it’s full of ridiculous petticoats) – then I settled down with a cup of tea and my laptop and wondered if it’s okay to take a picture of the large number of armed police eating cake in Costa.
I wrote a bit, tweeted a bit and then looked up at the departures board. I blinked. I couldn’t be reading the board right. My flight was delayed by three hours. THREE HOURS. I hurried to the harassed looking woman on the desk – could I get on a different flight? No – because I’d checked in a bag.
Oh My Actual….AAAARGH!!!!
Three hours. I had no choice, I had to calm down and wait- it still left me a cushion of three hours. We’d be boarding at 2.55. It would be fine. I rang the wonderful Roxburghe Hotel where the fabulous James organised a meet and greet taxi for me. I let the festival know I was running late but I would be there. I repeated, it would be fine. Fine. 2.55 came….and went. With no further information at all. The tiny airport was crammed with people from other delayed flights. I returned to the harassed airport staff to ask what was happening with my flight. The woman looked at me like I’d spat in her tea and said,
“It’s been delayed.”
“I know that, but can you give me any idea when it will be taking off, I have a really important event I need to get to.”
“No. I can’t.”
“Just roughly? Please? I need to let people know if I’m not going to make it.”
I was nearly crying by this point, and trying very hard to keep my cool. She poked a few buttons other computer –
“There’s been an electrical storm, the plane has diverted, it should be here in the next 30 minutes.”
That had to do, I sat down and waited. And waited. Half an hour came and
My plane eventually arrived and so did I, in Edinburgh, with 5 minutes to spare.
I threw on my frock and raced across the road to the festival. I’d missed Tanya and Laura’s event, I had no time to curl my hair or iron my dress but I’d made it. The event had sold out, the audience were fantastic, the night was one of the high points of my author life – to think I could have missed it…
Edinburgh Book Festival lived up to it’s reputation in my heart for being a little corner of book heaven. I met up with pals, both writers and not writers; hugged the wonderful Book Witch ( if you don’t follow her blog – you should, it’s brill); had breakfast with Juno Dawson, opposite Eddie Redmayne’s gorgeous little girl (and her Mum and Dad, also gorgeous); I met readers.
The festival sold out of my books; I spent more than I should on other people’s books; I fan-girled a bit (a lot); I went to a drop in workshop run by Jonathan Stroud where Christopher Edge and I invented a brilliant game of Snakes and Ladders called:
How to Make It Big in Books.
(Rights still available)
And finally, I had my picture taken by the amazing Chris Close.
Genuinely, there is no happier place for a writer and a reader than Edinburgh International Book Festival. If I don’t get invited as a writer next year, I’ll be going as a reader 🙂
Kathryn Evans is the author of More of Me, winner of the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award, nominated for the Carnegie medal and winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2017
How to Make the Most of A Book Tour Stop by Kathryn Evans
Liverpool: home of The Beatles; city of friendliness and unity and latest tour stop for the Lost and Founders! And my goodness did we pack a lot in.
I met up with the rest of the team, and after surviving a road crossing that might give me nightmares for years, we celebrated Orangeboy author Patrice Lawrence’s amazing Costa shortlisting before heading out to a lovely event at Write Blend, a gorgeous independent book and coffee shop run by the hugely energetic and charismatic team of Bob Stone and Sally-Anne Tapia-Bowes. The audience were warm, friendly and interested and there was a teen identical twin in the audience which made Sign of Oneauthor ( and identical twin) Eugene Lambert, very happy!
After the event we had a lovely catch up over a late dinner and more celebrating – well, there was Sue Wallman’s Zoella selection for Lying about Last Summerto toast, and we’d never raised a glass to Olivia Levez’ starred Kirkus review for The Island, or the Carnegie nominations and EdBookFest prize for More of Me …we had a lot of celebrating to catch up on!
The following day we had two school events organised by Sally-Anne and Bob. First stop, the amazing Alsop High School – boy the energy of those 300 year 8’s! The interactive element of my creativity talk was very enthusiastically engaged in…luckily Sue and Olivia were happy to help with the tidying up afterwards.
We had time to chat with some of the children as we signed books afterwards and they were great. Also, there was cake, Sally-Anne knows the way to an author’s heart is through a buttercream filling…yum.
In the afternoon we headed to Merchant Taylors’ Girl’s School for a literary lunch with some of their Year Eleven’s. It was such a special session – Year Eleven’s are so often caught up in pre-exam work that they miss out on author visits, and these girls were so interesting and interested, I’d have loved a bit more time to chat with them all.
Next we had a panel discussion with Years Eight and Nine. They were utterly delightful and we had plenty of time afterwards to sign the books they were very keen to buy. Olivia and I felt a bit like rockstars as they pressed forward with books for signing – it was a wonderful way to round off our Liverpool tour stop.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself it’s not all a dream.
I think we had a room full of writers because lots of the questions were geared to how we all broke through and got published – we answered with our usual honesty so I hope people gained knowledge and inspiration. They certainly gained Prosecco and mince pies thanks to Olivia’s wonderful family!
And of course- we picked our #LostandFound giveaway winner! You didn’t think I’d forgotten did you?
This weekend was probably the best booky weekend I have ever had for I was hosted by the marvellous folk at Edinburgh Book Festival.
The Festival takes place in a little corner of magic called Charlotte Square Gardens. A lovely little green, surrounded by white pavillions and the rather marvellous Spiegletent. There’s a book shop, obviously, and a bar – bonus! And the folk who organise it all take the best care of their authors. They put you up in hotels where, even the most directionally challenged (me) , can’t get lost. They give you chocolate and make sure your every need is met – but really, what more do you need? Book lovers, chocolate and books. Can’t go wrong really.
I did an event with Jo Cotterill and was so thrilled to have a full house – Scbwi members GO GO GO! I have kind permission from the Bookwitch to reblog her write up because I can’t put it any better than she did. I even got a picture of her which is RARE INDEED:
And here’s her write up:
Unusual and Unexpected by Bookwitch
It helps to have authors who are former actors, or just plain crazy. Last night’s brilliant performance – that is the only word for it – by Jo Cotterill and Kathryn Evans was really something. The bright spark who put them together is either quite cunning or someone simply got lucky. Jo and Kathryn felt they were […]
So there you go, what a weekend. It’s alright this writing lark. Just need to finish the new book and I’ll start to feel like a proper author.
PS. One tiny thing – voting for the Edinburgh Festival First Book award doesn’t close until October so there’s still time, if you feel so inclined, to vote for More of Me, my debut novel, I’d be ever so grateful 🙂