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P.J. Reed Writing 

A Writer's Life

Book Events 2017

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The Saturday Sizzler

Superhero Name Is Born!

Well, I had a slight poetry crisis last night. A couple of weeks ago I did a joint poetry night. To be honest I felt like running and hiding underneath a bookshelf half way through the talk because where as the poet I was paired with just regaled the audience with her poetry... I went into the history and structure of formal haiku and the differences between senryu/ haiku and the importance of poetry in education I decided not to discuss the history of poetry itself as the audience were actually staring at me. While the other poet was just reading her poetry. However, I had not in fact bored the audience into an early grave - they were listening to me, something I didn't realise till later when I sold quite a few poetry books both there and at my next event were people came looking for my work, which was a huge shock.

The shock was further sparked at a talk I went to last night, when I was sitting quietly listening to a Jenny Kane talk on Cornish inspired books. A lovely woman came up to me and asked if I was the poetry woman as her daughter loved the books she bought at my talk. Other authors would have said thank you - I however, was so surprised  that she remembered me that I just muttered 'I don't know' followed by awkward silence 

Note to self my superhero name is now 'Poetry Lady!'

 
 
 

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Cosplay at the Mansion!

This week took a rather surreal turn which resulted in some most unexpected actions.

As a member of the EAA fantasy department, we sometimes do events in costume or ‘drag’ as I like to call it – for maximum shock appeal!  The idea was meet at Costa plan future events and then go to Knightshayes, our local National Trust mansion to take some photos of us looking slightly abnormal.  

Things never go as planned.

The Costa manager wanted a photo of us glammed up and obviously no author in their right mind passes up a photo opportunity. So, I was there in Costa dressed as a Medieval lady with slight witch leanings, next to a Medieval woman, a sparkling elf, and a Steam Punker, having our photo taken in a crowded Costa trying to look cool. A feat we have yet to ever achieve but I live in hope.

 Then we had to walk to the carpark to drive up to Knightshayes through the busy streets of Tiverton and no one seemed to notice… which was slightly unnerving.

Knightshayes was ablaze with the delicious summer sun, so we sat on the benches outside the stables waiting for our photo shoot to begin. The national press photographer, one Richard Lappas had been taking pictures of a famous government minister the day before, so it must have been a little bit of a culture shock for him to be taking pictures of fantasy creatures in a tree. However, as always, his pictures were stunning. Obviously, they would have been better if I looked more like Helena Bonham-Carter, but writers are meant to be kept in dark places to scribble their manuscripts well away from the bright lights and spot lights. There is a reason for it…

Anyway, I was sitting on the bench with Richard Dee (Steam Punk author) and Tracey Norman (Elvish storyteller) and one man in a Northern accent approached us and said,

‘I have to ask you, what are you doing?’

We replied we were in fact authors and not members of some strange Friday fetish club, which seemed to satisfy him, and he wandered off content.

The shoot went fine. I managed to vaguely understand the instructions from the photographer – the interesting command of put your eyes here did cause a slight confusion, however.  The most amusing thing was how visitors took photos of me being photographing by a photographer which was slightly bizarre as I don’t even like photos of me!

The final shoot was the humorous (authors do have a sense of humour shoot) with us standing behind a tree and our little faces appearing around the trunk. The bottom face was the elf kneeling on the floor, then we had the Medieval woman leaning over the elf. Next, we had me -  basically leaning over the back of said Medieval woman looking like we were doing something slightly inappropriate and being watched by the Steam Punker who was standing peering around the tree. From the front it might have looked like a cute, cheeky author picture, from the side view it looked like something completely different…

I am slightly worried about the pictures the onlookers took from the side view but at least they will not forget the fantasy department authors for some time.

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Book Events 2018

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Exmouth Festival Report from a Tardis

Well, for the first time Exmouth Festival decided to let in authors. I do not know if this was a good or bad sign, but we are here and we are staying. Gradually we are colonising every festival in the south-west from food to music like a plague of Magog – only less furry and active. Instead of implanting eggs we hopefully implant ideas into people which hopefully does not prove to be lethal.

The Festival literary side was based at Exmouth Library – the third biggest library in Devon, with five rooms of book-inspired activities for young and old alike. Beatrice and the amazing library staff worked tirelessly throughout the day and the library was filled with over 400 visitors. Special guests at this event were several local Exmouth authors including David Bazell, former editor of t…

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