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By Charming Man, Mar 16 2015 02:13PM

Monday morning, following a wonderful weekend away at the Orchard Book Club Author Event & Ball in Peterborough...

To say I had a blast would be an understatement. If I'm totally honest, I wasn't sure what to expect, but as the dust settles and the post Peterborough blues take grip, I know in my heart where I want to be.

Rachel Brightey and Jo Curtis at Hourglass Events masterminded a most spectacular event, the first of many I have no doubt. Almost a year in the planning, this event gave me the impetus to drag myself out of a state of procrastination, and complete the first of my short story compilations. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

The whole day ran like clockwork; Jo and Rachel executed proceedings with military precision. Their attention to detail was awesome, personalised gifts for each author, amazing apple and hourglass trinkets gracing the ball tables… And then the books... I'd obviously clocked the stack of books in the centre of each dining table, supporting a flickering candle. A nice touch, I thought; after all, we were a gathering of writers. Staring at the books through whisky-glazed eyes, I suddenly spied what the semblance of one of my own book covers. Only then did I realise each stack of books comprised images of everyone's work. Whether my fellow guests on my table were slower off the mark than our neighbours (or merely more inebriated!), I don't know, but we were collectively tickled pink upon making the discovery! A small detail that'll live with me forever.

The event was organised in order to help us indie authors gain a little more exposure; a chance to get out there and meet the public. This was my first public appearance, and once the nerves settled, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In terms of getting myself out there and creating a little more awareness, it couldn't have gone any better.

But the day for me will always be remembered for meeting some truly wonderful people; both readers and writers alike. So many of those attending on Saturday are known to me via Twitter and Facebook, and to finally meet them face to face was a most wonderful experience. Such was the camaraderie, the natural banter; the whole experience felt more like a reunion than a ‘First Encounter’.

My only regret is that I never got the chance to engage everyone as I'd hoped; the day flew by far too quickly, and we were bopping to the last dance all too soon.

It was a pleasure meeting Cameron Lincoln, Lisa Fulham, Hemmie Martin, AJ Walters, Neil Winnington, Caroline Batten, Rebecca Sherwin, Ava Manello, Tracie Podger, Andie M. Long, Glenn Haigh, Kit Tinsley, SJ Warner, Shani Struthers, KL Shandwick, L Chapman, EJ Shortall, Louise Bay, Sarah Michelle Lynch, Beth Maria, Lisa J Hobman, Natasha Preston and Samantha Towle.

To those I didn't get the chance to say hello to, I'll endeavour to make amends next time, for there will be a next time. I can’t thank Rachel and Jo enough for allowing me this experience and I look forward to seeing you both again in Leeds next year.

I love to write, and some tell me I write well. For me, the jury is still out; I feel I'm evolving, but I know I have a lot more to offer than Charming Man. Striving to achieve recognition as an indie author is akin to flying a kite; we work tirelessly on creating a work of art, and then throw ourselves into unleashing it upon an unsuspecting world. We run, pulling at the promotional strings, hoping a gust of intrigue and word of mouth will elevate it skyward. For periods of time, it merely bobbles along the ground, threatening to collapse in a heap, leaving us breathless and weary.

My appearance at the Orchard Book Club was a breath of fresh air. I am basking in a breeze of positivity, tightening my grip on those kite strings and preparing for lift off! The stuff of dreams, eh? Bring it on!

Charming Man opens up with a few rants and raves and offers an insight into what's on his mind.  You may also learn what makes him tick!


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