I’ve done readings in New Orleans, Washington DC, and Urmston (Manchester UK) – and now Hebden Bridge.
Why is this noteworthy? Because although my novels are set in and around Hebden Bridge, last week was the first time I’ve made a public appearance in the town.
This opportunity was made possible by the organisers of the Happy Valley Pride Festival, the first of its kind…and hopefully the start of an annual event.
Throughout the week, I enjoyed meeting lots of wonderful people…from my volunteer stint at the Festival Box Office in the Town Hall, attending the Poetry evening (where the resident poets were happy to let me do a reading from The Circle Dance), enjoying a glass of wine at the launch party at Nelson’s Wine Bar, selling and signing books during the main Festival activities day on Saturday, and sharing some moments in the park during the Pink Picnic on Sunday.
Just walking around town wearing my Happy Valley Pride t-shirt brought smiles to the faces of many and helped initiate random chats with a variety of locals and visitors.
It’s been a blast – and I think the organising team, Mike, Darren and David, will probably be hibernating for a while to recover. During the week, they were everywhere, making sure everything ran smoothly. And it did. Even the spells of drizzly rain on Saturday failed to dampen the spirits of the crowd at the Town Hall who enjoyed the activities on the terrace – particularly the Pink Dog Show. The cakes in the Bake-off competition were of a high standard as well.
The stated aim of the Festival was to ‘celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer life in Calderdale’. And they succeeded. Thank you to everyone who took part…looking forward to next year already!
Keep up with Happy Valley Pride events throughout the year by visiting their website. And the art exhibition will be on display at Nelson’s Wine Bar until 1st September – so still time to visit and take a look at the wide range of works by local artists.
Where to buy my books
The Starling Hill Trilogy: