A piece of cake

UKYAX logoBeing on stage at the UKYA Extravaganza in Nottingham yesterday was, quite literally, a piece of cake. Just as I settled in for my panel session, proceedings were paused while one of the organisers – another YA novelist, Kerry Drewery – presented me with a cupcake, complete with candle, with the 120 or so people in the audience singing ‘Happy birthday to you . . .’ That serves me right for mentioning on my blog recently that the UKYAX event fell on my birthday!

It was a lovely surprise and very kind of Kerry and her co-organiserUKYAX cake pic Emma Pass to set me up. I mean, to set it up.

The extravaganza itself, held in the Sillitoe Room, on the top floor of the big Waterstones in the centre of Nottingham, was hugely enjoyable, with around 30 authors taking to the stage for a series of panels on young-adult fiction and mingling with readers and signing books in between the sessions.

I shared a panel with an international flavour – Liz de Jager is originally from South Africa and Sheena Wilkinson had come over from Northern Ireland especially for UKYAX.

UKYA panel picWe each had two minutes to introduce ourselves and our books before taking questions from the audience. Which resulted in the second surprise of the day when the three of us were posed a question which, I think it’s fair to say, none of us had ever encountered before at a literature event: “Would you rather be attacked by twelve horses the size of ducks, or one duck the size of a horse?” I opted for the former. Horses the size of ducks sound quite cute but a horse-sized duck . . . no, that’s a creature of nightmares.

Anyway, a great day all round. And I made it home in time for a family meal to round off my birthday celebrations – including another delicious cake, this time baked by my younger daughter, Polly. A Great British Bake-Off star of the future, I suspect.

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