One day down, just a few more to go. In an hour or so I'm off to the festival opening night function, where I expect to mix and mingle with the Literary and cultural elite of Australia. This is assuming that I can dry out the one pair of decent shoes that I bought with me in time. They're currently propped on the counter of the bathroom here, with a similarly-propped hotel hair dryer giving them the treatment. Of course, if I do manage to get them suitably dry, then they'll probably be two sizes too small, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
So, as predicted, I was awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night last night, nervous tension being a terrible thing, and all. But I decided not to bore you all with another blog post because:
a) I didn't really have much more to say, apart from "slept for five hours, then woke up" and
b) That would have involved getting out of bed to retrieve the computer.
But I have things to report now, though. Even apart from my soggy footwear, though that's pretty significant, if you ask me.
Had a good day. Presented at the first of the two schools days, along with some great writers; John and Boori kicked things off, and as always were brilliant; just the right combination of humour, reflection, seriousness and confrontation to really get the kids thinking. Then Melina did a really interesting session, talking in her lovely unassuming way about each of her books, and giving a fascinating insight into one writer's process. One of the things I love about events like these is listening to the vast array of different styles and ideas that various authors use: it really re-enforces the fact that in the writing world There Are No Rules (deliberate capitals, there, because it's an Important Message).
After Melina it was lunchtime, and then my turn. By this point, I was pretty wound up. Did I mention that the day was held in the Sydney Theatre? It's big. And imposing. And pretty damn scary. From the stage it's like standing in front of a wall of people.
Once I got out under the lights, though, I had a blast. The audience was great; really switched on and receptive, and I had a fun time telling a few stories and discussing my Darklands books. Then I gave a truly nasty introduction to Charlie Higson ("Just wait until the next guy comes on, he writes comedy so he's really funny!") and got off the stage. Luckily, Charlie was able to live up to expectations, talked about Zombies and Vampires, and everyone left the theatre on a high. All in all, a fun day.
Then a quick book signing, and a bite of lunch, and then I was interviewed for an online author's project run by the NSW department of Education. This was a bit of a new experience for me, as it involved a studio set up, lights, cameras, and having to stop and re-start every time a truck drove by. Then we got to go out and do cut aways of me walking in the rain beside the harbour, and looking pensively out over the water towards the Opera House. Hence the wet boots. Luckily the crew and director were fantastic, and the whole experience, which took about two and a half hours, was great fun. When it's all edited up and goes live in a few weeks, I'll link it in here.
Anyway, I'd better go and check the boots, which hopefully I can still lever my feet into, and then get dressed for the function. Tomorrow we're doing it all again at the Riverside Theatre in Paramatta, MC'd by the fantastic Judith Ridge, so if you're in the neighbourhood, make sure you drop by.