Putting faces to names…

On Saturday I spent a day in sunny Stoke-on-Trent (yes, really!) at one of the regular author/book blogger meet-ups organised by Kerry Parsons and Steph Lawrence.

The meet-ups, held roughly every six months or so, are designed to help authors and book bloggers get to know each other – a fantastic idea since we have so much to do with each other online, but tend not to meet in real life. Kerry and Steph book in advance at the North Staffs hotel in Stoke – a great venue since it has parking and is literally metres away from Stoke-on-Trent railway station – and a bunch of us take over the bar and spend several hours networking, putting faces to names and just chatting, about writing, books, and pretty much everything else besides.

I went to the first event a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and if anything this one was even better. Many of the people who came along had been to one before so everyone knew someone, we were all a bit more relaxed, and as word gets round, the event gets bigger with more new folk turning up as well.

It was lovely to chat to some familiar faces (including Noelle Holten and Jen Lucas, both of whom I met at the annual Crime and Publishment writing courses, and Sue Flint who was at the first of these meet-ups). It was also great to meet so many new people, including Midlands-based authors John Pye and Mick Williams, and crime-writer Rachel Sergeant. Unlike some other author events, this one isn’t restricted to any one genre so I found myself talking to writers from the sci-fi and romance worlds as well as my more familiar crime ‘scene’. But whatever we write, or read, we still seem to have the same things in common which always helps to break the ice.

Huge thanks go to Kerry and Steph for all the hard work getting the event off the ground, providing name badges and introductions, and making sure everyone gets fed! I had a lovely day, and although it’s a bit too much of a haul to get to every single event, I know I’ll be back at some point in the future.

This time, I remembered my camera. Here’s a shot of the impressive frontage of the hotel, with its statue to famous local potter Josiah Wedgwood, and a strange hand sculpture on the platform at Stoke station.

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5 thoughts on “Putting faces to names…

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Sounds like a lovely time, and I know what you mean about meeting people in person that you’ve ‘met’ online. It’s a great experience, isn’t it?

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