The one with THREE festival appearances this year

It has been a dream of mine for several years to speak at a book festival. As a former recruiter and trainer, public speaking is well within my comfort zone although it is a little different talking about yourself rather than from an HR agenda.

I was thrilled last year to secure a slot on the Walking and Books Festival in Richmond, North Yorkshire and was getting all geared up for it when Queen Elizabeth II passed away. Her funeral clashed with my session so it was cancelled. The lovely organisers invited me back this year so I’m very excited that I’ll still have that opportunity.

The Richmond Walking and Book Festival runs between 15th-24th September and, as the name suggests, provides a mixture of walks and literary events. You can catch me here:

  • Thursday 21st September 2023
  • 11am – 12 noon
  • The Station, Richmond, North Yorkshire (not London!)
  • £8

You can find out more about what to expect and see what else is happening that day here. Tickets go on sale on 28th June so I will put out a reminder then. If you’d like to see the full festival programme, you can find it here. So many fabulous events planned.

Richmond is a very special place to me because it’s where I started to write my debut book, New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms. I opened a specialist teddy bear shop in Richmond called Bear’s Pad in May 2003 and, on quiet days, I’d write. Running the bear shop also gave me the inspiration for All You Need is Love which is one of my favourites of all my stories. It therefore feels very fitting to be speaking at a festival in the year I hit one million sales in the town where I wrote my very first words.

As it happens, this won’t end up being my first festival appearance. Stockton Libraries very kindly invited me to speak at Norton Library last September and asked if I’d be interested in participating in a panel discussion at the 2023 Crossing the Tees Book Festival. Absolutely yes!

The Crossing the Tees Book Festival is a collaboration between Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland Library Services and runs between 10th-18th June. Tickets are available to all events now and you can find the full programme here.

I’m involved in two very different events so here’s the details of each…

  • Interactive Workshop – How to Create a Memorable Setting
  • Saturday 10th June
  • 10am – 12noon
  • Guisborough Library
  • £5

You can find out more and book here. I recorded a short video about what to expect which you can find on the Crossing the Tees Book Festival Facebook page here (the link should take you directly to the video). (Please note that the photo below is a screen shot, not a link).

I’m particularly looking forward to being at Guisborough Library for this event because it used to be my local library! I was born in Middlesbrough and my family moved to Guisborough when I was three so I was raised there, attending primary and senior school in the town. I loved visits to the library to get my fiction fix as a child and, when I was at senior school, did a lot of homework research there.

I believe the library as I knew it was tragically destroyed in an arson attack so it isn’t going to be familiar to me but it will be great to see how it has been rebuilt.

And onto my second event for this festival…

  • Panel discussion & questions – A Romantic Sunday Afternoon with Jessica Redland, Lisa Hobman and Jane Lovering
  • Sunday 11th June
  • 2pm – 3.30pm
  • Ormesby Library & Community Hub, Middlesbrough
  • £5

I’m really looking forward to appearing at this session with Lisa and Jane. We all write romance books/contemporary women’s fiction for Boldwood Books and will be answering questions from our host and the audience so I hope you can come along for what should be a lovely afternoon of bookish chat.

BSL interpreters will be joining us for this event.

As I mentioned earlier, I was born in Middlesbrough so this is also a special venue for me, returning to my roots.

You can find out more about this event and book here. I also recorded a short video about what to expect. It hasn’t appeared on the Facebook page just yet but it is on Twitter here. (Please note that the photo below is a screen shot, not a link).

It would be amazing to see you at one (or all!) of the events. Please do let me know in the comments if you can. I’ll have paperbacks for sale at all events and can sign and dedicate those for you. If you have books of mine already that you’d like signing, I’m more than happy to pop my paw print on them.

Big festival hugs
Jessica xx

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