So.... Sunday was the festival. That's right - the Edinburgh Book Festival. And I was at it. Not at it like attending and watching and listening and thinking intelligent thoughts at it; at it like I was stood up in front of people talking and supposed to be HAVING intelligent thoughts at it.
It was cool.
It was frigging terrifying!
To start off with we had to get the bus in because parking is pooh-bum-pants at the best of times in Edinburgh and when the festivals are on it's INSANE. It was Sunday so cue lots of me worrying about Sunday service and traffic jams and impromptu armageddons (yup, plural) that would prevent me getting there on time. Ergo we were there dead early. Chris took me for a bowl of chips because my talk was at dinner time (cue more freaking out: what if everyone just went for dinner and no one came to my talk???). Chips did nothing to calm me.
Post chips, Chris and I met Helen Boyle, my lovely editor from Templar who was looking after me. We went into the yurt and I was momentarily calmed by cake and famous person spotting. Ian Rankin was randomly walking around looking very nonchalant... but then I guess if you're as famous and awesome as Ian Rankin you don't need to get all freaked out by a little thing like performing at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Me, on the other hand...
Anyway, before my talk I had a radio interview with Charlotte and Calum (one 'l' thank you very much) for East Lothian. They are pupils at Knox Academy in Haddington and I was very impressed with how professional they were. The hardest question was definitely picking the next song on their radio show. I panicked. Something cool, I thought. Something different but undeniably awesome. I could not think of anything cool or undeniably awesome so I had to go with just something I liked - and the only song I could remember at all (barring Chesney Hawk's 'The One and Only' - which now I think about it might have got me vintage cool points...) was Kings of Leon 'Sex on Fire'. It's still a good song!
After the interview it was back to the yurt to 'chill out'. Ha. I was jiggling in the chair like a five year old who's been told they can't go to the bathroom. Then my techie person came to tell me there was a problem with my PowerPoint (WHAT?!?). Apparently I'd used some strange font they didn't have any EVERYTHING had moved about the page. On every slide. ARGH!!!! Fixed that, then they sent me back to the yurt (which I was beginning to really not like by this time - not the yurt's fault, all mine) to wait to get miked up so I could go down. That was at ten to six. I was still there at six. And five past six. And nine minutes past six.
Suffice to say by this time I was panicking.
Eventually we had to grab someone and I went down not miked to see a queue of slightly annoyed people (my charming brother Kenny being chief amongst them) looking at their watches, and then the closed door, and then the nervous looking person coming too slowly for their liking towards them: me. Oops. To be honest I was just so happy that there WAS a queue that their irritation kind of washed right over me.
Inside the 'Imagination Lab' we found out that the PowerPoint had messed up AGAIN so they were fixing it... again. I didn't actually get going until quarter past but that was okay because I was the last on in the lab that day so they said I could run on a wee bit. So I did.
The talk was fine... I think. I can't really remember anything that I said, but no one fell asleep or left, and they all tittered or smiled in the appropriate places and I managed not to swear. Success, I thought. Afterwards quite a few people asked questions (none of them too evil) and then we went through to the Children's Book Shop and I did a wee signing where lots of the lovely folks from the talks bought a book. Yay.
After that, it was straight to the wine. Lovely Helen (that is her new name) bought me a yummy gourmet burger and the wine drinking commenced. Unfortunately it couldn't last too long because of stupid Sunday Service so we had to RUN for the last bus and made it by twenty seconds. PHEW. And then I went home and went to bed.
Here endeth my Edinburgh Book Festival adventure. It was way cool. But mostly terrifying.