Hay Festival event screengrab

Dream come true

So excited to be able to share Part 1 of my dream-come-true news: I’m speaking at the Hay Festival on 29 May!

I’ll be doing an event with Sally Gardner, winner of the Costa Children’s for Maggot Moon, and Nick Lake, winner of the Printz for In Darkness, both shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2013! We’ll talking about happy endings: what makes a happy ending, whether happy endings are necessary, and so forth…

My parents and I used to go to Hay-on-Wye every spring when I was a teenager and I’ve always wanted to go to the festival. I’ve never managed it before because Hay’s always been at give or take the same time as Wychwood Festival, where I ran the Box Office until last year – and anyone in the entertainment industry will tell you there is Absolutely No Time Off just before or after an event you work for. Anyway, now, not only am I going, but I’m going as an invited author!

It is one of my lifelong dreams to one day be invited to speak at a biggish festival. Any biggish festival. I absolutely cannot believe that I’m going to Hay and… but the and is another story.

It’s especially hard to get my head around the whole Hay thing with The Bone Dragon not even out until 2 May. Thank you, thank you to the amazing Laura, my publicist at Faber, for making this happen and literally making one of my dreams come true.

So, the event itself is at 5.30pm on Wednesday 29 May 2013, on the Hay Festival Starlight Stage. If you’re looking to book, the event is called ‘Happy Ever After’ (HF70). Tickets are £5 and you can book here.

Hay-on-Wye is an amazing place: a beautiful old town filled with bookshops (mostly secondhand and antiquarian), so paradise if you’re a bookfiend like me. It also has amazing cafes and a few lovely jewelry shops, or it did last time I was there. It’s on the edge of the stunning Brecon Beacons so not the easiest place to get to but it’s a beautiful journey. For more information, visit the main festival site here.

It’s the perfect setting to launch a Dragon.

(Or for a Dragon to lunch, in case of any hecklers. Consider yourselves warned.)



  1. Wow, congratulations. It would be a dream of mine to speak there too! I’ve been twice out the last three years and am going back this year. I don’t know my dates yet – but I may see you there.

    If you have time, you really must stay at the festival for as long as you can. It’s one of my favourite things to do and I aim to go back every year if I can.

    1. I’ve got a few extra days – after wanting to go to the festival for so long (at all, let alone to speak) – I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy some other events and just see the town again. Just as well I’m taking the car: it will be *full* of books, though where they’ll go when I get them home I’ve no idea. I’m already ‘building’ a book-bookcase in front of several of my actual bookcases.

  2. That’s very exciting! Congratulations! After your talk, I hope you’ll write a post about the experience and what the consensus was (if there is one) on whether readers need happy endings.

    1. Thanks for the brilliant idea! I will definitely do that. 🙂 I haven’t finished In Darkness now (though hopefully will do so this weekend), but I suspect that the conclusion will be that we certainly don’t need Disney-style happy endings.

Have your say: reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s