There are always lots of good points about attending festivals but let me tell you what I love the most.
- The freedom of picking which sessions you want to go to. There's always more than one though...sometimes it's a very hard decision to make.
- Being exposed to new authors. This year I discovered YA author, Trinity Doyle. I bought Trinity's debut novel Pieces of Sky at the festival (and got it signed). I started reading it almost the second I got home and it is an amazing book. It's about Lucy, a girl who has recently lost her brother in a surfing accident and she's dealing with her sudden fear of water, a new boy in town and the fact that her brother's phone is getting weird, mysterious text messages. It was uplifting and tear producing and I loved it.
- Hearing from the Publishing Panel. This year there were four publishers who gave us an insight into the publishing industry and generously answered any question the crowd members asked.
- Meeting new people, networking, catching up with old friends.
- Learning things! Ber Carroll's session on characterisation was thought provoking and I also enjoyed Pamela Cook's presentation on getting published.
- Buying books! The speakers usually have their books for sale should you wish to purchase them. You can even get them signed (to yourself or for a gift).
- Having a day off from washing, running kids around etc.
- Sitting in the crowd and secretly (don't tell anyone...) imagining myself giving the presentation one day.