Did you know that in 2019, Exeter was awarded the UNESCO City of Literature status?
This is brilliant news because, even though I am based in Dorset, Exeter is easily within my reach for events and days out (and I have family in Devon, so bonus points...).
Two of the characters in my first novel, I Am A Muse, bond during a day out in Exeter...
Anything involving books, writing and... yes, more books, is always going to catch my eye!
I just couldn't miss out on the Exeter City of Literature's first ever Book Market, held at The Old Riding School in the splendid grounds of Powderham Castle.
As someone who has been selling books at events for many years now (ok, not at specialised book markets...), I do know what a hard sell books can be! But I have always thought that if you find the right audience and event, you promote it properly and give it a modern twist, then yes, selling books could actually be a rewarding job!
I was expecting an ok turn out, but not that amount of people: this was a genuine success, with people of all ages happily milling around the stalls, browsing, BUYING BOOKS from independent booksellers (including one of my favourite bookshops, The Sanctuary Bookshop in Lyme Regis).
There was something for everyone, from nature writing to children's books to radical volumes, new and pre-loved...
The place was positively buzzing! The Old Riding School is such a fantastic space!
As we left, we noticed that there actually was a queue to get in!
And you know what?
I think Arcane Publishing (and our developing book-selling arm, Arcane Books) would fit right in... ;-)
The big bonus is that after having browsed all the stalls and bought some food for your mind (books) and food for your belly (of course, you can purchase yummy food and drinks within The Book Market space), you can wander around the grounds and spend some time admiring the building and the location - the grounds spread up to the River Exe. The Deer Park is populated by hundreds of deer, a graceful addition to the peaceful setting.
The castle itself really is delightful, full of lovely little details...
Something strange happened though: as I reached the top of the stone stairs leading to the Rose Garden, I was suddenly seized by an odd "déjà vu" sensation... The castle... The towers... The roses... The gravel... and yes, even the sundial! I had basically just stepped inside a scene of one of my novels, The Book of Thoth! I was standing in the Rose Garden at Whitemoor Hall, waiting for Lady Chronos to appear via the French windows! It felt rather thrilling...
I think therefore I write.
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