Firstly from Ann Smout (pron. out, not oot)
Thank you so much for laying on such a magnificent day which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I had read only 1 of the authors - Sadie Jones and have another - Jennie Rooney - on my increasingly unmanageable "to read" list. I have to confess I had barely heard of the other two, but, as a result of hearing them talk, they too are now on that list!
You arranged such a variety of authors, but all spoke so interestingly and differently about their work and their craft. You were brilliantly prepared with your questions, but gave the floor plenty of time to ask their questions and wore your research very lightly. Your calm, gentle manner produced great insights.
The venue was lovely and so close to the station, the catering superb and the goodie bag amazing. The only thing that would have improved it would have been some decent summer weather at lunchtime!
To succeed, these events take a lot of time, thought and sheer hard work. I've long been a reader of newbooks, but was was a first timer at such an event - I will definitely come again.
With thanks and best wishes to all involved,
And secondly from Jackie Wood - and I swear no money has changed hands!
I have to put fingers to keyboard (as opposed to pen to paper) and congratulate you on a superb day. I am often quite critical of author/book events as they always disappoint somewhere. But not this one. I have to own up and say I don't read much fiction, but in advance of coming to your day - I did download freebie samples of the authors in question, so at least I had some prior knowledge. As they weren't that well known to me, I wasn't expecting to be greatly impressed and didn't expect to enjoy it a great deal. But I have to say from the word go - the organisation of the event, was outstanding. I was very impressed firstly with your interviewing technique - very professional. You could teach the so called professionals a thing or two. You asked great questions and actually listened and responded to the answers. You took questions from the floor and had already gathered questions in from the audience, incase there was that embarrassing silence - there wasn't!! I found you to be an engaging and a very witty and spontaneous host. I am still laughing about the passing nuns!! The success of a day like that is very much in the hands of the host - and you excelled.
I do go to a lot of author events, so as I said I am quite critical - and the fact that I enjoyed it so much - is all down to the way you ran the day. Nothing was last minute, shoddy, or unplanned. I can appreciate how much work goes into a day like that, and you and your small team - got it right, more than right, excelled!!! I did buy all the books and have already began to dip in.....I didn't really think any of them would be as good as they are. A lot of time author events are just about the book - but you made the day so interesting, by focusing on pertinent questions to do with agent, editor and publishing. It was a great way to make it appealing to everyone. I have raved to my friends what a good day it was - and they were all surprised as I didn't expect a lot from it - and now they want to be involved next year!!!
The catering was wonderful, cakes, sandwiches etc were amazing and the organisation of everyone spilling out at the same time, was handled beautifully and efficiently. The whole event ran strictly to time, without any being aware of how difficult that is. You gave great attention to the little things too, like name badges actually being readable (a novelty). So well done, you must be blushing now at all this golden praise, but it is so richly deserved, I had to let you know.
The goodie bags were a lovely generous treasure to take away, and I even got a book by Judy Astley in my bag based in Cornwall (the book not the bag)!! I am studying the artist colony in that part of England at the moment - so will savour that book to read when I go down there. So thank you, thank you, to everyone who made the day so spectacular. The only down side (well there had to be one) was to make sure that I sat alone in the railway carriage back to Fleet and that Fergus was not even on the same train!! Not bad for a criticism is it.
Thank you for making me feel so welcome, as I confess I was the early bird that arrived at 9:00 o'clock and bagged a choice of front seats. Well done Guy and thank you so much for a lovely, lovely day. I eagerly await the next one.