Barley Hall is a beautiful historic house hidden away off Stonegate in the centre of York, and I had hoped for a busy weekend at their Christmas event, however trade was very slow, and I think they must have been relying on people numbers to raise the temperature in the building, as I have never been so cold in my life whilst indoors as I was on Saturday. By lunchtime we were brought an unconvincing ‘heater’ which took about 3 hours to raise the temperature to the point that we could no longer see peoples’ breath!
It was a shame the event wasn’t better attended, as there were some very talented and interesting craft people there, selling textiles, pottery, leather goods, and even Christmas decorations made from dried chilli peppers, to name but a few. Some were doing demonstrations, and all were happy to explain to people the processes involved in making their product.
I was signing copies of my 2 children’s books: Doodle Mayhem and The Monster Under The Bed. The thing that struck me throughout the weekend was that everyone who looked at the two titles said “Ah …The Monster Under The Bed.” Which led me to wonder why they all said that title out loud rather than the much shorter, snappier title of Doodle Mayhem? I came to the conclusion that it was because everyone can relate to the idea of a monster under the bed, either from their own childhood memories, or from their children’s.
Some people shared their stories with me, and one young lady called her sister over and said: “You’ve got to read this… it’s about us.” Some parents view the title with slight suspicion and fear it might scare their child, but most are won over if they read to the end, and find the funny twist that shows the monster’s identity – and if you want to know what that is, you’ll have to buy the book, or find me at an event for a sneak preview.
So to sum up: It was a quiet event and very cold, but I did manage a small profit, and met some very interesting people, both customers and fellow traders. Some more of my books will now find their way into Christmas stockings and under Christmas trees, and hopefully I’ll have hooked a few more readers who will look out for my next book, a follow up to Doodle Mayhem which I hope to publish next summer/autumn.
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