I have to write a special blog about the last weekend where I was privileged to be invited to Mudgee Readers Festival. Despite coming down with "festpox" from Byron and having a squeaky or non-existent voice for the whole weekend, it was a wonderful time. Mudgee is a gorgeous town and the festival was so well organised, the events well attended. I met many local readers and writers, and made new friends.
On Saturday morning, the funny and generous Summer Land hosted a book club session for The Horseman where we discussed all things about the book (sans spoilers) and romance with a group of festival-goers. Then, on Saturday night, the Rant! entertained a huge dinner crowd at the golf club.
I was somewhat intimidated to be up with some very big names ranting about the perception of romance, but it was a great evening and everyone was encouraging. Luke Carman was superb as MC, and Fiona Wright, Jane Caro, David Henley and Alison Whittaker gave funny, powerful and passionate rants on subjects from quitting sugar and the nanny state, to knocking public schools and the apology to Indigenous Australians. David Burton, ranting about men, was hilarious in advocating for manhood to mean more than blokey things, and Sami Shah brought the house down at the end with pointed and accurate comedic rant about the state of Australian racism. A fantastic night.
This was backed up on Sunday with a Books with Heart panel with fellow romance writers Amy Andrews, Jenn J McLeod, and Alissa Callen. Books with Heart even gave out chocolates themed on current books, including mine - how cool!
All in all, Mudgee was a special festival and I'd love to go again. I encourage everyone to check it out.