All the fun of the book fair

The Edinburgh International Book Fair started on Saturday. While the Royal Mile was packed with people on stilts, jugglers and Hamlet in mime (I’m making that last bit up, but it could have happened …), not too far away in Charlotte Square, a lot of booky people were gathering in tents to talk about … books.

I took my son Freddie again, because while I’m an enthusiastic reader, he’s a VORACIOUS reader, and he enjoys the whole thing even more than I do. This year, he got books signed by Philip Reeve and Andy Mulligan and, just as we were leaving, we got to have a little chat with Andy Stanton. I also got to witness the ineffable sight of Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo) signing next to AC Grayling (The Good Book). And I had a fan photo (I was the fan) taken next to AC Grayling. It’s that kind of festival.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I wore The Shoes.

I’d been invited to do a ‘Catwalk to Jumble Sales’ thing with Sarra Manning, the author of the very wonderful Adorkable. Although we’ve both done this kind of thing before, we were a bit nervous. Would we pick the right readings? Would it pelt with rain? Would the fact that Cathy Cassidy was talking in the tent next door (a much bigger one) mean that nobody would come and see us?

I took lots of pictures. Here’s how the weekend unfolded …

The Olympic Park had Games Makers. Waverley Station in Edinburgh had an enormous, icing-covered chocolate cookie. Worked for me.

Charlotte Square, where it all happens. In the sunshine. Nobody could quite believe the sun was actually shining, but it really was.

My favourite booky deckchair.

The audience for Jacqueline Wilson’s talk the day before. She had a slightly bigger tent than us …

She was quite brilliant. I was a fan before, and I’m still a fan now. If she wasn’t already a Dame, I’d be arguing that she should be.

Edinburgh from my hotel room. Posh hotel room. Posh view. Happy writer.

We’d bought loads of books. Needless to say.

Back at the festival. You know you’ve made it as a writer when you get your own, dedicated loo.

It went fine! Sarra and I both really enjoyed ourselves, anyway. There were lots of fab readers in the audience, lots of questions, lots of encouragement from us both to go out, experiment and take on the world (and to read How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran in the process). We both brought outfits to show – including the actual dress that Sarra describes at the beginning of Adorkable. And afterwards, we got to meet the girls – and librarians – from the truly wonderful Glitz Lit programme to get girls reading in South West Edinburgh. It’s inspirational, and I’ll be telling everyone about it. And not only because it includes Sarra’s book and two of mine.

This was Katie’s bag. Katie didn’t have a book for us to sign, so we signed her bag. This is my signature next to Derek Landy’s from last year. Wooooooooooo! The illustration is Derek’s version of Harry Potter, apparently. (Actually, it looks more like Derek to me.)

So, all in all, it was good. Very good. Big thank you to Janet and Hannah and Lorna (who chaired our event) and everyone else who looked after us and made us welcome. Thank you, Edinburgh! I hope I’ll be seeing you again.



5 thoughts on “All the fun of the book fair

  1. Hi Sophia,
    I just wanted to say that i was at your talk with Sarra Manning and i really enjoyed it!! it was really inspirational and encouraging- i want to go back to school with a new found power and Ted’s atitude!:):)
    i bought ‘the look’ and I have finished it already! it was great- really funny but serious and moving. i really admire Ted and Ava because their so brave but in different ways. they really were like warriors!

    I was listening to my Ipod in the car and i thought this song really fitted into Ted life! it’s called ‘Higher Ground’ by Heather Nova. I imagined that it was Ted talking (/singing or whatever) about/to Ava.:)

    Plus i got my book signed by you and was totally speechless;) and a bit embarrassed cos that was the day i had to run out of time in the morning to find something arty to wear! ( and as a friend was taking me to the festival I didn’t know I was going to see SOPHIA BENNET- one of my FAVOURITE authors!) So i went home and put on my mum’s old dungarees, a turquoise vest top, a thick mustard belt and some dangly earings to feel better:)

    After i first read your books i was totally tuned into fashion! i have a few vintage fashion books and some fashion mags and have found a cute vintage boutique near my house! Thank you for your amazing books!

    P.S. i loved your outfit at the Edinburgh book fest. Especially your shoes!!!
    And sorry for such a long comment:):)

    • Thank you so much, Jo! That was a totally wonderful comment and I’m thrilled you enjoyed the talk so much, and that the books have inspired you. I’ll listen to ‘Higher Ground’ with Ted in mind.
      Glad you loved the shoes. Your festival outfit was pretty good, too! xxx

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