July 2nd 2011
I’m back speaking at the Greenbelt festival this year, after taking a couple of years off just being a regular punter. Part of it was due to the kids getting older and being able to do different things at the festival, and part of it was not having that much new to say.
However, a bunch of us regulars thought the literary side of the programme could do with some oomph. And oomphed it has. You can see the details here, but we have poets and novelists and short-story writers doing all sorts of things like workshops, readings and talks. Actually, Greenbelt is shaping up to be awesome this year – the music especially: Billy Bragg, Martyn Joseph, Show of Hands, Idlewild and the Unthanks, to name just a few. Old folkie that I am.
I’m doing three programme items this year: Saturday, 4pm in the Hub, I’m having tea and cake with the lovely RS Downie. Okay, we’re also answering questions on anything writing and publishing related too, but tea! Cake! Authors!
Sunday 5.30pm in the Hub is my retrospective “Where are we now? Sex, death and Christian fiction revisited”, where I see if anything’s changed over the last six years since I delivered the now infamous talk.
Monday 12:30pm in Crest (in the main Grandstand – I should point out here that Greenbelt is held at Cheltenham racecourse, sans horses) is my workshop, “You’re doing it wrong: how not to write a novel”, which should be fun.
In between times, I will also be doing a signing (hopefully of all three Metrozone books) in the bookshop tent. If the idea of Petrovitch and a liberal Christian arts festival is too much cognitive dissonance for you to handle, just imagine the cover of Another War nestled in amongst the Bibles and “I had a really exciting and dangerous life, then Jesus saved me” biographies. And I’m being interviewed for the website Surefish.
I’m sure this actually counts as work, but Greenbelt is a brilliant place: very family friendly, not-at-all in-your-face Christian (no altar calls, and hey, I’ve been going for all my adult life, assuming that’s any form of recommendation), and now it’s at Cheltenham, it can pretty much survive whatever the weather. If you’re within striking distance, you can just come for the day, or you can camp the whole bank holiday weekend like we do. If you do come, don’t be a stranger…