Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Virginia McKenna launch at Hay Festival

Event 305- the Barclays Wealth Pavilion. This is the biggest venue on site- holding a max of 1800 people. You can imagine how I felt the first time I went it- to see Nick Sharratt as it happens- the artist for Jacqueline Wilson. Then I remember thinking- really? When this whole idea came to me to launch at Hay I had only even been to the winter festival which is a much smaller more sedate affair where events happen in the shops. When I enquired about launching there back in December that is how I saw it- I had no idea what I had done! But I'm so glad I did!

Because I accompanied Virginia McKenna and her assistant Lauren I had the whole Green Room guest treatment. I had talked to Paul who said I could do a short intro but he told me in The Green Room the organisers would prefer if he did the intro. But luckily he was still willing to let three of the authors read 1 minute extracts of their work and for the cover artist Colin Wyatt to present the original artwork on stage. I was in amongst the behind stage bustle while the instructions were issued and then I met the others in our front row reserved seating- and why not? They were the authors!

Because of the all the bustle I might not have taken it all in as much as I would have liked- I did see there were a lot of people there! And the buzz was amazing. Then the lights dimmed... and on came Paul Blezard with his intro and Virginia.

Boy she was good. She speaks so eloquently and with such passion. When she talked about how Born Free started with Poli,Poli the elephant I was fighting the lump in my throat. And when she was later asked to read her foreword and she reached the part about Elsa's death- there it was again.

Our readers were:

Mandy K James- All Things Under the Sky- debut short story published in paper form.

Hilary Taylor- Peace Crane- short story debut publishing success.

Abi Burns Homecoming- BBC Nature Writer of the Year.

I hope to have some photos to post later in the week.

They did so well- well done all!

Paul said he thought the book was extraordinary and excellent.

Virginia spoke about circuses and the plight of captive animals in such a wonderful way how could anyone disagree. Following a question about whether some zoos are good she was quite adamant that a good zoo is like a posh hotel but imagine if you were there and could never leave. NEVER. You are told what to eat, when to eat, your whole environment is controlled. It is chosen for you who your mate is and if you do breed your babies will be taken away. Is this right?

And when zoos say they are conserving species most zoos are full of animals that are not endangered to every one that is- and breeding programmes should take place in the wild- not in zoos. How is breeding animals to keep in cages helping them?

It was wonderful and I think we were all sad to find the hour was over.

Colin was then invited on stage to present the framed original artwork displayed alongside the cover and Virginia was genuinely surprised and delighted. She told me she wants to hang it in the Born Free office.

And so it was over.

I got to see how the guests are taken to the book shop- by car! How exciting- I felt like a proper author! Even if I was just accompanying our special guest. Then people just kept on coming... Virginia was off to one side in the part of the store they reserve for big guests- they call that The Green Room too. And she signed for over 90 minutes- double the time I was told. She was wonderful and took the time to speak to everyone. She made a few peoples' nights I think. Some of the authors also hung around the store and were asked to sign.

Finally after 8 we waked back to The Green Room.While we waited for the car we saw Chris Evans and Anne Robinson!

And we ended the day with a lovely meal and time to reflect with Virginia.

As far as I know we sold all but 2 books when I checked on the Sunday- including all the signed copies that she was asked to sign at the end.

What a perfect day- one I will never forget.
We did say we would like to do another animal book for Born Free and do it again- maybe in 3 years time!

Thanks to all of you for supporting us.

The reason for all of it: ELSA 1956 - 1961

More photos to come...

1 comment:

  1. It really was a fantastic day - a shame it had to end and we had to go back to reality!
    It was great to meet everyone and put faces to names. The whole experience was unforgetable as you said Debz. Can't wait to see the photos later:)