A few months ago The Reading Agency asked me to go on tour. Not in the One Direction sense to stadiums full of fans (phew!), but to libraries to talk about… snow.(excuse the weirdo in the hat- I’ve no idea who she is but she insisted on being in the photo).
Now, I confess I’m rather partial to a flake or two, something I’ve probably mentioned once or twice on here. It also features heavily in Frost Hollow Hall and The Snow Sister.
So of course I jumped at the chance. The only problem was squeezing a library tour in to what was already shaping up to be a very hectic November. In the end, we had to narrow it down to four days.
And what brilliant days they were.
On Monday, I went to Coventry library, where I was welcomed with the most fantastic displays and the loveliest library team, who gave me flowers and reduced me to tears.
I spoke to school pupils and members of the public about my love of snow, frost fairs, record breaking winters and how snow flakes are formed. And i signed many MANY copies of The Snow Sister and Frost Hollow Hall.
Tuesday was Slough library. Again, lovely librarians and a brilliant bunch of years 6 and 7 who were so up for talking all things snow.
Wednesday was Rugeley library where the displays were gorgeously wintery and the audience brimming with great ideas for their own celebrity snow people. Liz the librarian also took me for one of the nicest pieces of cake I’ve ever eaten. Win win!
The final leg of my library tour was South Gloucestershire, which I made the mistake of thinking was within easy driving distance. Especially as Google Maps tantalisingly suggested my destination was only 1hr 25 mins away.
After two hours 20 mins of driving in torrential rain, I arrived at Yate library to the most beautiful, snowy displays. They’d even created a ‘snow seat’ for me to sit on! The audience of local primary children were a great bunch who loved trying on ice skates and asked some brilliant questions. Then, after a quick cuppa it was time to drive 6 miles to Emerson Green library for my final event.
Remember what I said about driving? Already this week my own car had protested at going to and from Taunton station every day, and had broken down. So I’d borrowed my dad’s car for the day. Which happens to have its headlight switch in a weird place and in my excitement I’d left them on and blah blah blah… one dead battery.
Two hours, three helpful ladies who tried to push me, more torrential rain and a delayed but awesome breakdown man -‘ I got called out to Helen Dunmore last week. She was on her way to a book signing.’- later, I made it to Emerson Green Library. I was 20 mins late. The library was packed with years 4,5 and 6 students from the local school. Thank goodness for their teacher who was keeping them entertained with a reading from The Snow Sister! Suffice to say they were a lovely crowd. We had a great time talking all things snow- with a few Frost Hollow Hall ghosts thrown in for good measure. Once I got inside that snow igloo all my car stress vanished. It was a magical end to the best of weeks.
Which leaves me only to say a HUGE thank you to all the libraries who worked so hard to welcome us. YOU made it happen!