Starting this Thursday, 18th October, the 23rd annual Guildford Book Festival will be taking place at the Electric Theatre and other venues around the town. The packed festival programme features a variety of household names and up-and-comers. Here are my top picks:
- 1 House of Horrors, 99 Dead Snowmen and other wicked cartoons by Tony De Saulles, illustrator of the Horrible Science series. I devoured these books when I was a child, and they gave me an early enthusiasm for the subject I went on to study at university. This free exhibition is taking place in the Lewis Elton Art Gallery at the University of Surrey from 9th-25th October.
- Della Galton: How To Write Erotica. With “50 Shades of Grey” topping best-sellers lists and breaking records, erotica has never been hotter. This workshop is a great way to learn how to create a compelling plot and a sexy tone. Also try Erotica! More than the bare facts which will see a panel of erotic writers and publishers sharing saucy secrets. Both take place on 24th October at the Electric Theatre: the workshop costs £18 (a bargain if you can pen the next 50 Shades) and the talk only £6.
- The E Debate. The rise of technology has taken the world by storm, and literature hasn’t been missed out. Love them or hate them, e-books are on the rise, and you can join in the discussion on 19th October at the Electric Theatre for just £6.
- Lindsey Davis: Master and God. Enjoy crime fiction and historical novels, and want to meld the two? Lindsey Davis manages it with intrigue and wit in her Falco series. One of my favourite authors, I’m really looking forward to her talk on October 21st.
- Puffin Post Parties. On Saturday 20th and 27th, Puffin Post magazine will be hosting parties aimed at children of all ages. On 20th October it’s Puffin’s 45th (and my own 22nd) birthday, and the big bird himself will be at the Radisson Edwardian with cake and games. On 27th the Puffin Post Family Day is being held at the Electric Theatre, with a wide range of children’s authors and special activities.
Other well-known names featuring at the festival include Kate Mosse, John Suchet, Sandi Toksvig and Kathy Lette, along with many more local and international literary stars. You may not share my taste in books, but I encourage you to check out their website: I can guarantee you’ll find something of interest. I hope to see you there.