Sunday, 26 March 2017

Blog Tour: Puzzle Girl | Rachael Featherstone

Today folks I am super excited to host Rachael Featherstone for my date on the official blog tour for her debut novel 'Puzzle Girl'. I was lucky enough to get a guest post from the lovely Rachael which tells us all about her love for author and writing events. I think you will agree with me when I say that it is a very interesting and inspiring post. So as I always say, grab a brew, get comfy and enjoy!
Guest Post:
If there is a scale of how addicted a person is to author and writer events, with 1 being ‘never been’, 5 being, ‘curious and go to the odd one’ and then 10 being ‘love them, want to go to all of them’ then I am an eleven. From hour-long author talks, to weekend literary festivals and week-long writing treats, you name it, I love it. I am completely and utterly addicted to author and writer events. I find them so inspiring. In fact, there is a large correlation between my writing and events. As soon as I get back from an event I find myself so fired up and ready to write. My favourite ever event was a weekend course run by Random House led by Audrey Niffenegger. It was such an incredible experience to not only meet her but get her feedback on the opening to my novel Puzzle Girl. Four years on, the group (about fourteen of us) are still in touch. I think it is the friendships and network that make these events even more powerful.

But you can’t go to all of them (as my husband has to remind me from time to time). And with so much choice out there you have to be picky so I thought I’d share with you my top tips for finding the right events for you.

Author Events

If you want to meet your favourite author, their social media pages and websites are a good place to start. The events page on bookshop’s websites such as Waterstones are a great way to find out what is going on near you as well as publisher’s websites. Author events can also be a good way to find out about new authors that might appeal to you and panel events can be great. Last year I went to a #FabulousNightIn run by The Sun for a panel with Lindsey Kelk, Giovanna Fletcher and Mhairi McFarlane. It cost £10 and there were free drinks and a free book!

Top tip: Follow Headline’s Rooftop Book Club to find out about their latest author events.

Literary Festivals

There are so many great festivals out there, some are geared towards author talks while others focus on the writing process. Popular talks within festivals tend to sell out fast so make sure you check out the full programme in plenty of time. If you’re a writer, festivals can be a great way to find a literary agent or promote your novel. Having secured my agent at the Winchester Writing Festival in 2013, I will be going back this year to give a talk on Writing, Pitching, Tweeting Women’s Fiction as well as doing a book signing.

Top tip: lists every literary festival with all the details you’ll need.

Creative Writing Workshops and Retreats

Writing courses can vary greatly in price and length. When deciding what course to pick, it’s important to really know what you want to get out of it. Are you looking for advice from a published author? Do you want to build a writing network with others on the course? Are you looking to pitch to an agent? The Guardian Masterclasses can be great but tend to be a little pricey. Many universities offer short online courses that can be accredited in some cases. Some authors run their own courses such as Miranda Dickinson’s one-day #WriteFoxy workshops and Cesca Major’s week-long Book Camps. 

Top tip: For one-day events, check out Writers & Artists. For longer courses, have a look at Arvon

Searching for events can take a lot of time but there are a couple of sites that do the hard work for you. Eventbrite is a good place to start. HarperCollins set up Bookgig which is well worth a look. I hope I’ve managed to pass on the love for author and writing events and who knows, perhaps I’ll meet you at an event one day!

Love is a riddle waiting to be solved…
Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything.
When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious ‘puzzle-man’ behind it.
Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin. 
Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

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Author Bio:

Rachael Featherstone was born and raised in Woodford. After reading Mathematics at New College, Oxford university, Rachael went to work in research. When Rachael's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, Rachael decided to take a chance, quit her job, and fulfil a life time ambition to write a novel. She went back to university and completed a Masters in English Literature and had several short stories published. Rachael now lives in Hampshire with her Husband, Tim. Puzzle Girl is Rachael's debut novel. 

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