And then it was off to Hay ….

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I’ve been there when it’s very very sunny (when it’s the best place in the WORLD) and when it’s very very rainy (when it’s merely ONE of the best places in the world). On the last Tuesday in May it was very very rainy. Thank goodness – and Vivienne Westwood – I was wearing plastic shoes:

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I was there to do a talk with two of my favourite writer friends, Sarah Webb and Luisa Plaja. Both not only write great books for teens, but also tirelessly support other writers. Sarah organises the Mountains to Sea festival near Dublin and reviews for the Irish Independent. Luisa co-edits Chicklish, one of my favourite book blogs. I’ve known them for years and the idea of chatting for an hour about how we write, for an audience of 250 people on the Starlight Stage, seemed like a really, really good one.

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Here’s Sarah, in the rather glamorous Artists Portaloo. I include this picture because I based the penultimate scene of You Don’t Know Me in this very Portaloo, which I remembered from Hay and transported in my imagination to the Bigelow Music Festival. So if you want to picture the girls getting ready for their big moment, picture this …

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When they say the Starlight Stage, this is why:

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Here’s what the it looked like before we got onto it …

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And afterwards, once we got going, and Sarah started telling the story about when she was a fire brush in her ballet school production of Cinderella …


 She even brought along her panda …

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Needless to say, we had a wonderful time and could easily have talked and answered questions for another hour. If you came, thank you! You were a wonderful audience. Our event was organised by the wonderful Mary Byrne, and chaired by Tom Donegan, who did a brilliant job of it and made it look easy. (It’s not. It’s really really hard.) Here he is afterwards, recovering. And yes, that is a white rose in his teeth.

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 Then it was off to this posh hotel in Hereford to stay the night, followed by a quick trip to Hereford cathedral (amazing – I’m a sucker for a good cathedral) next day, and back home, FINALLY.

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2 thoughts on “Hay

  • 12th June 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I loved reading this – thank you, Sophia! It was absolutely brilliant to meet you again and I enjoyed the whole Hay experience immensely.

    • 12th June 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Me too, Luisa! See you again soon, I hope. x


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