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I travelled up to Rochester yesterday for this event, it involved the dreaded M20 with lane closures preparing for Brexit. We have put up with this and road works for weeks and it really does put you off travelling. There was also some disruption to a train line so I couldn’t even do that. Then I had to put oil in the car, have you seen how many different types of oil there are? I have to say Halfords were very nice and sorted which one, I did ask if he would put it in the car but he said that would cost £5 and as I had to buy the biggest thing of oil as that was the only one they had that was right for my car, I just thought no I can do this myself! How do you get the top off? Talk about tight, so then a man on a bike helped to unscrew, he did say it was very tight. So how do you know how much to put in? The dip stick was staying on the same point, I even looked under the car to see if it was coming back out somewhere! I just guessed in the end and crossed my fingers, which were all covered in oil and I was in a dress all ready to travel to Rochester. No wipes or anything in the car so it was black surface wipes and make do.

CAN I LEAVE NOW?

I have to say I do love going to Rochester as I lived there for a while as a teenager, I even walked past the newsagents where I did my paper round from. A lot has changed but it is still a wonderful place to visit as you have the cathedral and the castle also many Dickens events during the year.

HUGUENOT MUSEUM

This was where I was heading for the crime writing event, I do wish they had put on the tickets that it was upstairs above the Visitor Information Centre as then I would have saved my legs a bit. This event was on the top floor but there was a lift so all good. I only had tickets for two events at 1.30 and 5pm so what to do? You could only go into the room for your event. I had a coffee in the cafe but there was nowhere to mingle with other visitors or guests so I sat and read a book. That was a bit disappointing as it is nice to chat with the many friends you have in the book world.

The first event had the panel consisting of Guy Fraser-Sampson, I have reviewed many of his books that are set in Hampstead, London, you can read them here. Vicky Newham who lives in Whitstable her book Turn a Blind Eye which was very good and Linda Regan who I had not met before so I bought one of her books, SOHO KILLER.

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They were talking about how they plan or not also the different ways of overcoming a block, I did like Guys answer…..a gin and tonic!

While I was waiting for this to start I found Lisa Cutts and had a chat with her and she introduced me to Karen Irvine, who wrote one of the best books I have ever read called A Killing Sin and the best bit is that it was her first book, so definitely someone to keep an eye on.

I also asked her to come to the author event that I am arranging in November and she said yes! So happy about this as she has some fans here in Folkestone already.

The last panel of the day was the one I was waiting for as I know Lisa, I have read all her books the reviews and news are here. I have been talking to Gina Kirkham and Elizabeth Haynes for ages so I really wanted to put the name with the face. Gina is so lovely and is just like her character in her books, Mavis, I have read Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and it was brilliant, read the review here.  I am looking forward to reading the next one.

Elizabeth I got to know through Lisa as it was her book that made Lisa want to start writing, my review is here.  A great supporter of NaNoWriMo so I am hoping she will get to come to one of my writing group events. I have another of Elizabeth’s books on my Kindle and I can’t wait to read it. I think I need to do fewer reviews and read some on my TBR list.

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I love the way Lisa is touching her ear like the pictures in the background lol. This was a great panel to listen to, in fact, I could just ask them questions all day long. So much knowledge and experience between these three lovely ladies who I class as my friends.

I had better mention Mathew who is Gina’s, Karen’s and Guy’s publisher, another great person from the book world, they really are all so nice. He did tell me to get an agent for what I have written so that is my next job.

That was the Rochester Literature Festival all over for another year, not sure how they will top this for guests next year as they were all amazing.

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