With Steve Birkinshaw at the Buxton Adventure Festival
The commitment and enthusiasm from some of the speakers brought to life the range of subjects they were talking about. I attended two excellent running presentations, and co-delivered another one.
Earlier in the day I had been working on the Wanderlust Travel Workshop, with Phoebe Smith and Hannah Reynolds. It was interesting to hear what Phoebe and Hannah had to say, and also to be able to contribute a small amount about my experience of getting published as a first time author.
After an impressive calzone for lunch just around the corner, we went into the afternoon’s running talks. First up Nicky Spinks introduced Charlie Ramsay, who was talking about his eponymous Round of the Nevis, Grey Corries and Mamore ranges. The most interesting point on a personal level was that he put up a slide of Grant Ramsay (from my own athletic club) at one point. Recognising him, it turned out that he was Charlie’s son, and that somehow I had never ever known that. Bizarre.
Next were the aforementioned Jen and Sim Benson, who were basically telling the story of their book ‘Wild Running’ and giving some fine examples of the places they had run. They ended by saying that they were upping sticks to take their two young children on the road for a year or so, wanting to have that freedom whilst they could. Nice move.
The last session of the weekend was the on-stage interview I was doing with Steve Birkinshaw. For some reason I was worried that there wouldn’t be anyone there, but there was in fact a fabulous crowd. We had asked for comfy chairs and a drink each as we wanted to try to get away from the talking to slides format. I fired the questions and Steve responded really well, interspersed with some clips from the film of his Wainwrights in 6 days effort – which had been previewed the night beforehand. Steve tells his story well in a very understated way. If you get a chance to see/hear him (at Kendal Mountain Festival maybe) then do so, you won’t be disappointed. In the short drinks break I signed a few copies of ‘It’s a hill, get over it’, which was grand. Always nice to meet people buying your work. I also enjoyed chatting to a couple of people who had bought copies earlier.
In fact, one of the best things about a festival like Buxton is the networking that takes place. I think my talk on the book at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival got me the interviewing job here. Several connections made here will either help me, or maybe someone else, develop ideas. The writers workshop resulted in a request from an attendee to have sight of my book synopsis and publisher contacting plan/procedure, which I happily provided. Speaking to a very notable runner there produced a request for me to read a manuscript they have had on the back burner, which I readily agreed to do. Thirdly, a random conversation with someone I met at a previous book reading of mine in the Lakes produced a lead to a rare and unpublished source that may well have some invaluable information for the book I am currently working on.