Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Victoria Hislop @IOWLF 2015

An inspiration!
I was lucky enough to go and watch Victoria Hislop on Friday at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival. The venue was St Mary's Church in Cowes, and it was a brilliant setting, made more funny by the fact that at times Victoria hoped anything she said would not be taken against her!

Her talk was fascinating and insightful, as she talked about her latest book, The Sunrise.

"In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple are about to open the island's most spectacular hotel, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony. Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the Özkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city's façade of glamour and success, tension is building.

When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story."

The blurb via Amazon tells you what the book is about, but it truly does help to listen to an author and understand their passion and reasoning for writing their novel. Every book is unique and should not be measured by another.

I have read her second novel, The Return, and loved it. I have started this one and can understand why she spends a lot of time describing the place - it's important to understand, as she said, that the place in her books is just as important as the characters.

I am enjoying the book a lot, but do think a lot of characters have come on the scene and I am struggling to keep up! I will review the book when I finish and give my verdict then.


Overall though, I think Victoria was personable and interesting and I hope she continues to be inspired to write many more books in the future.

I have to admit that I was relieved when she told us it takes her 3 years to write a book, 2 years just for research! Since I have taken under 2 years to finish my first historical fiction book I can breathe a sigh of relief! It's normal! PHEW...

I hope you all have a fabulous week.

All the best,

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Meet the Authors, @IOWLF 2015

Andrew Weale & "Spooky, Spooky House"
What a fantastic day! 

All of the authors I met today where brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their talks/ workshops!

First up, I watched Andrew Weale who read from two stories, including Spooky, Spooky House, which was so much fun with it's huge array of hidden surprises under a multitude of flaps!
Kev Sutherland

Next, was the "Cartoon Workshop" - more Comic workshop to be honest. Kev was incredibly funny, talented and entertaining!

I have to admit the fact he worked for The Beano made me in awe of him!

As a child, I wanted that job!

The amazingly talented, Diana Kimpton, was next...

She was excellent with the children.

They thoroughly enjoyed her various acts and role-plays (she chased children around), funny voices, and excerpts from her stories.

The children (& adults) asked a lot of questions at the end.

Very interesting overall.

The Big Draw with "Bridget Marzo"

Next up, was Bridget Marzo with her Tiz & Ott's Big Draw.

She had all the children and adults (myself included) on the floor drawing!

My youngest (aged 6) managed to see her at school and I managed to get her a signed copy of the book which she read to me tonight.

It truly is a brilliant book for children. Especially to encourage creativity with art.

Nicholas Allan

Lastly, I watched Nicholas Allan who entertained us not only with his books, but with magic tricks galore & an assortment of chocolate prizes!

What a brilliant way to end the day...

Tomorrow, you get the chance to see Andrew Weale, Diana Kimpton, and Nicholas Allan again... so come along and join the fun!

Ghost Walks to the Cellars!

You can even visit the ghostly cellars!

I highly recommend you come along to the IOWLF

Vanessa :)

For more information on the authors read my first blog! HERE

Friday, 16 October 2015

SJ Watson, @IOWLF 2015

After mulling over whether to do some work (i.e writing - I am on a roll at the moment) or go and be inspired by listening to a bestselling author, I chose the latter.

SJ Watson is the best-selling author of "Before I go to Sleep" - a book I really enjoyed back in 2012!

The same year I published my first novel coincidentally. Unfortunately, I have not had the same level of success...

I had no idea about his past and was intrigued to find out that he worked in the NHS, having an aptitude for Science (Physics), before realising he really wanted to be a writer. Having said this he always loved writing, but was put off it as it was not seen to be a viable career (boy, do I relate to this!)

He was approaching 40 and decided to go for it... (hmmmm, sounds like a lot of us writers think alike!)

Anyway, he worked part-time, enrolled on a creative writing course (that cost thousands) and worked on his debut novel for 6 months, before he fortunately met his agent (over a few drinks) who showed an interest in his novel.


Lucky guy, he got the illusive book deal, not to forget the film, etc... I mean, come on COLIN FIRTH as a bad guy! (sighs!)

BUT, let's face it, if the novel had not been any good she would have sent him packing! So, it's a case of being at the right place at the right time, and having a fantastic idea!

His new novel, SECOND LIFE  sounds interesting, but I have to admit that he did not sell it to me enough to buy the £14 hardback - I'll just wait for the price to drop on kindle (sorry)

There have been a lot of thrillers on the book market recently and I have to admit that as much as I like to be shocked, I like romance too much to stray away for too long.

However, for SJ Watson, once you've got a taste of success, if you keep your readers happy you should be in the game for a long time.

What I found most interesting was the fact that he is an avid reader. I always struggle to understand how anyone can call themselves a writer and not be...

Anyway, I'll be heading off to listen to Victoria Hislop tonight! Can't wait.

All the best,
Vanessa :)

P.s. I did see Mary Berry today before her talk with Alan Titchmarsh (does a happy dance)

I took a photo for my daughter and even though I wished I could have stayed to listen to it, I knew I'd have to rush out to do the school run so did not think it was worth my getting a ticket and hovering in the background!

Besides, the room was PACKED!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Isle of Wight Literary Festival 2015, @IOWLF

Well, October is here and it's that time again in Cowes!


Last year I was fortunate enough to both volunteer and act as a speaker. To find out about my experience as a speaker click HERE, or to read about my thoughts as a reader click HERE.

It was fun, but I'm glad that this year I am only volunteering! (My nerves were in bits last year)

I am lucky enough to be responsible for authors in the Youth Program - which is amazing this year! The enthusiasm and drive of the volunteers organising this event never ceases to amaze me.

In a bid to get acquainted with their work prior to the event, I thought I would post a bit about them on A Reader's Perspective. I hope some of you will be tempted to bring your children along or look them up online. Find links to my post below by clicking on the authors. Read all about it...

If you are planning to visit, get your tickets now at the IOWL Festival Official Site - I know some events are already sold out!

Hope you enjoy finding out a bit about the Festival and look me up if you visit! I am always happy to day HELLO.

Vanessa :)

See you at the IWLF - get your YOUTH PROGRAM tickets HERE

On Saturday 17th October I will be introducing...


11:00 Cartoon Workshop

14:00 Diana Kimpton GREEN SHEEP What Animals Might Say

15:00 Bridget Marzo TIZ & OTT’S BIG DRAW

16:00 Nicholas Allan A LITTLE BIT OF MAGIC

On Sunday 18th October I will be introducing...

09:00 Story-Telling & Fancy Dress


12:00 Diana Kimpton THERE MUST BE HORSES

14:00 Sara Grant MAGIC TRIX

15:00 Nicholas Allan THE QUEEN’S KNICKERS