It’s been about two years in the planning by an amazing team of WA authors and an equally amazing team of volunteers, but the inaugural West Coast Fiction Festival has now been run and won during an incredible weekend in Perth. And I am so very stoked to say ‘I Was There’!!
I almost wasn’t there… because I nearly got lost on the way to the Rendezvous Hotel in Scarborough, driving up at night and relying on my trusty print-outs of various road maps (because me and my phone don’t talk to Google. We barely talk to each other). I didn’t get to put my feet up until about 22.19 (yes I like to be specific about these things but the photograph helps!)
The goal of the WCFF, apart from connecting readers and writers, was to raise money for the awesome Australian charity, Share The Dignity. And so we did! $18,000 to be exact which is enough to buy two vending machines for women’s sanitary hygiene products for Perth.
For me, the WCFF was always about the chance to catch up with authors and friends who I don’t get see much of, living 3 hours south of Perth and on the West Coast of this awesome country of ours. Authors and Readers from across Australia made a weekend of this event and flew across – and it was awesome to meet them. Particularly for me, Len and Carolyn Klumpp, and Janine Kimberley, who have all been long-time Facebook friends.
On the writing side of things, I got to meet Josephine Moon and Clare Connelly, along with Lisa Ireland and Perth local, Holden Sheppard. We’re all ‘agency mates’ with Haylee Nash at The Nash Agency, and this photograph of us having a beer after the festival cracks us all up each time we see it.
Amid highlights, I have to mention how great it was to meet Len and Carolyn Klumpp. Len is a wonderful supporter of Australian authors, and we share a love of two lots of Eagles footy teams. West Coast Eagles in AFL for me, and the Manly Sea Eagles (NRL) for Len. You know in those crazy Facebook quizzes that pop up now and then? I always remember somewhere years ago one of these said which of Len’s friends would he be most likely to share a jail cell with… and Len’s answer was Lily Malone – which I think is hysterical. Having met Len, I reckon we’d have an awesome time in a jail cell!
Another highlight (there were many)… I got to sign a book for Jane Harper’s best friend, aka Tracey G. These three ladies, Jacie (on the left), Tracey (blondie in the back of the photo) and Sarah (on the right) were so much fun to chat books with, and to sign books for.
Amanda Barrett runs the fabulous Mrs B’s Book Reviews. We’ve never met – so it was great to meet Amanda (on the right below) and her friend and fellow reviewer, Nicole.
With the WCFF wrapping up Saturday afternoon, it was time for lipstick & dancing… so we all frocked up (well, not Len, Phil or Craig … but everyone else) and had a blast with The Velvet Amps. AND I met a new best friend (no, not Jane Harper although I am sure she is lovely!) I met Erica Tonkin from Collins Booksellers in Bunbury… but none of our photos came out because there was obviously too much dancing going on with waaaay to much camera shake!
I also met Pamela Cook and Alissa Callen and Helene Young – who are every kind of lovely 🙂 And it was both another hello and a farewell to Jenn J McLeod and Jeannette McAnderson – which is a bit bittersweet as it may well be a long time till we catch up again.
And so I’m home, feeling inspired by my ‘tribe’ and ready for a busy November with wonderful things to come… the wedding of my most lovely friend Julie-Ann; a combined 50th birthday for two old mates (literally, ha ha, I crack myself up); a work catch-up/Christmas do for my ‘former’ workplace; and another chance to talk books at the Cowaramup Christmas Fair at the end of November (25th)… and don’t get me started on December when, OMG, I’ll have a new Chalk Hill story out, The Cafe By The Bridge!
p.s. Just in case Jane Harper’s *real* best friends think they’ve been dumped… I’d better explain. Tracey and Jacie and Sarah went to an author talk the night before (or during the week of WCFF) with Jane Harper and they all thought she was lovely, and they all got books signed and the private joke from Jacie was that Tracey was now Jane Harper’s best friend… 😉 That’s okay, because Jacie is now MY best friend… so everyone’s a winner!