Friday, 29 August 2008

Reach out and touch... Scotland

This week we've been on Edinburgh Book Festival Outreach with some great authors, one of whom was kind enough to do a bit of blogging for us. So it's over to award-winning writer Sophie McKenzie to tell us more...

My first time at the Edinburgh festival and I'm a mix of excited ('i'm at a festival!!') and apprehensive ('what if no-one turns up or I screw up my talks'!!). In the end its even more fun than I hoped it would be... the talk to a group of secondary school students, bussed in to the festival itself, goes really well. I'm on stage with Graham Marks, a friend and fellow teen writer. We're doing a new 'show' - in which we use a load of big screen visuals to talk about where the ideas for our books come from. Graham's an old pro at great events and gets me really enthused with all his ideas.

The next day, I take a road trip with the guys from the Scottish Book Trust as part of Outreach to schools in Alloa and Alva. Standing up in front of 200 14-year-olds is something I've got used to over the past year - but this was different. For a start, the schools are set in amazing countryside with mountains out the window! For a London girl, that's special!!! On top of that, I'm doing a new talk - where I get the students to pick items out of my bag. Whatever they pick, I have to relate to my writing in some way! The pupils at Alloa and Alva are fun and make it really easy for me to relax and enjoy myself - that's me with some of them in the photo - thanks for that, if you're reading!

All in all, I have a great time - Edinburgh is a beautiful city and there's a real buzz around the festival. It's all incredibly well organised and everyone's really friendly and helpful. I love events like these - a great opportunity to hang out with other writers and meet the people who're actually reading my books!

Which reminds me... I guess I'd better go now and get on with writing the next one... !!!

Sophie McKenzie
Author of Blood Ties, Girl, Missing and the forthcoming novel The One and Only
We're Famous! Moment of the week
One of the other fantastic authors with us on outreach this week was Sam Enthoven, who gave us a shoutout in his hugely entertaining blog. Follow the link and look for the reference to 'supreme ninjas'... fame at last!

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