This, believe it or not, is the bookstore and signing tent at Harrogate Crime Festival. The weather has been awesomely hot and the whole festival awesomely good.
What a difference a year makes. At the 2012 event, I was an aspiring author who felt very uncomfortable at first. Then I met people, particularly Julia and Amy, who made the place friendly and fun. This year it was brilliant to meet up again and even more fun was had.
It was at Harrogate last year that I met Stephen Leather. I was impressed with his honesty and no-nonsense attitude so I sat outside the hotel until he emerged then leaped on him. I explained in thirty seconds who I was and what I needed. He offered to help and was true to his word.
This year, with SL's help, I've had two books published and they've sold exceptionally well. Just as important, we are gathering participants in Open Circle so that others can have the same sort of support that I enjoy.
We want to connect readers with authors, writers with other writers, people who need help with people willing to give it.
I want to share the good fortune that has transformed my life.
Everyone I met at Harrogate expressed interest and support for Open Circle. Already, we can see increasing numbers registering on the web site www.opencirclebooks.com
There are exciting times ahead.