I had my first taste of PR on Thursday: Writebulb was invited to attend the Essex Book Festival launch at Chelmsford Library. Sadly only three of the founders could attend (Kate has just started a new job so couldn't take the time off work) but we still muddled through! It was quite a nerve-wracking experience with labels stuck on us and radio producers counting us down...and lots of people looking at us as if we were celebrities! It was a very strange experience but incredibly good fun. The folks at Chelmsford Library and the BBC Essex team were so warm and friendly and did their best to put us at our ease. It was great - and much more fun than the day job!
We were given a writing challenge to perform which was read out on air by the first Essex Storytelling Laureate, Mike Dodsworth (http://www.mikedodsworth.com/) who was fantastic. Our writing challenge was to write a love letter to the county of Essex and we had just 40 minutes to complete it. It is the first time that the three of us (Stu, Brigid and myself) have collaborated on anything and we all have very different styles of writing. The piece we produced was certainly very different from something I would have produced alone - but I'm sure the others feel that way, too. It was a huge learning curve in writing quickly and a great team effort - something that I would like to explore further within Writebulb meetings. I think we can all learn from collaborating with other writers of differing styles.
After our 15 minutes of fame I met the lovely Joanna Trollope http://www.joannatrollope.com/ - gosh, what an amazing lady. She was so kind and gracious...I am definitely in awe! I also met Guy Saville, a new author who spent lots of time chatting with us and giving us insights into the publishing world - very scary (not Guy!) Such a lovely man who has promised to speak at one of our meetings on the proviso that we supply him with chocolate biscuits!
And so I give you Writebulb's Love Letter to The County of Essex:
To my gorgeous county Essex,
I dreamt of you last night. As we walked together along the endless coastline, I admired your gently undulating countryside, and your outstanding areas of natural beauty.
You turned to me and said "are my curves bigger than Norfolk?" and I replied that you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. My heart revs for you like the boy racers on Southend seafront.
We talked about Dick; both Turpin and Moby, but couldn't decide which one to dine in.
As I awoke I realised that my interest in you is not just scientific, like your salty marshes. I'd serenade you like Olly Murs, and pen the story of our love like Martina Cole. I know you like a villain.
No other county compares to you. I can lose myself in you and be everything I am, for I have seen the real you.
Do not doubt yourself. I love the way you look in your stilettos. Your costume jewellery shines in the night, like the lights of Bas Vegas.
I have been around the world and back and, truly, the only way is Essex.
Lots of love and kisses,