I’m just back from Hay Festival! I had such a good time that I decided to do a little blog post about it. Hay Festival is a Literature and Arts festival which runs every year. It brings together writers, film-makers, historians, novelists, philosophers, poets and at night comedians and musicians. Hay is described as “a magical book town in the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park.” It was absolutely beautiful and I was in my element surrounded by books, authors and like-minded people. This year was my ‘taster’ session so I didn’t spend long there, but I hope to rectify that next year!
I went to Hay with my sister Bibliobeth. Our journey did not start so well, with our coach being hit by something on the motorway, which left its exhaust hanging off and left us waiting to see if it was safe to continue onto Newport. Luckily it was and on we went.
After a very long journey we arrived at our accommodation for the night. Which was lovely… even if the weather wasn’t so lovely.
We were greeted with warm cheese and potato pie and biscuits. Lovely!
The festival was brilliant. We had booked two talks which were 3 of the Waterstones 11 debut novelists chaired by Chris White who is on the panel at Waterstones to pick the 11 promising debuts of the year. We decided to go to this talk because we’re reading and reviewing the Waterstones 11 debut novels. The second talk was a Geektastic talk from Holly Smale and Andy Robb.
I really enjoyed the Waterstones 11 debut novels talk. The authors were Gavin Extence (The Universe Versus Alex Woods- review HERE), Kevin Maher (The Fields- review HERE) and Taiye Selasi (Ghana Must Go, see Bibliobeth’s review HERE). It was interesting to hear about how they came up with the ideas, their writing methods, how they got published and lots more besides. All of the authors were extremely likeable and their personalities really shone through. I definitely saw a bit of Alex Woods in Gavin Extence.
Next up was the Geek Fest as I like to call it. Holly Smale (Geek Girl, review HERE) and Andy Robb (Geekhood series) discussed their books and what the definition of geek actually is. This talk was particularly interactive with the audience which was great. Holly and Andy were really lovely. I certainly would have picked up Geek Girl if I hadn’t have already read it. There were more questions to the authors and some friendly debate about the likability of The Big Bang Theory. I thought Holly said some inspiring statements about being who you are and becoming comfortable in your own skin, liking what you like regardless of what other people think of you or label you as. It earned her a round of applause which was very well deserved!
After a wander around the festival (including a lot of time spent in the festival’s bookshop) we went into Hay to explore the bookshops. There are LOADS which are all packed with books, books and more books at very cheap/reasonable prices. We, of course, picked up some books and then made our way home.
I can’t wait to arrange to spend more time at Hay next year. It was so much fun!