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Kat Ellis at Edinburgh

Firefly authors Paul Magrs (Lost on Mars), Shoo Rayner (Dragon Gold) and Kat Ellis (Blackfin Sky) have all been in action at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this summer.  Here is Kat's account of her travels north of the border for her event 'The Disappeared' with fellow YA author Cat Clarke - and look out for more travellers' tales soon!

Edinburgh International Book Festival is a major event in the literary calendar, and one I’ve wanted to go to for years, but have never quite managed to get there. So when I heard I had been invited to do an event at the festival alongside Cat Clarke, I was over the moon.

A couple of weeks before the festival, I received a copy of Cat Clarke’s latest book, THE LOST AND THE FOUND, to read. I knew the theme of our talk was ‘The Disappeared’, and as I was reading Cat’s wonderful book, I loved seeing how what ties our two books together – the idea of a young girl vanishing suddenly, only to return unexpectedly sometime later – also showed how we had both jumped off that platform in two very different directions. We had plenty to talk about!

Armed with both books (because I couldn’t miss an opportunity to have my copy of Cat’s book signed), I checked in at the authors' yurt at the festival, not quite sure what to expect. But the entire setup at Edinburgh International Book Festival is so well-oiled and managed, I was chatting away with author and expert moderator Daniel Hahn, a Madonna mic attached to my ear, before I could even utter the word ‘yurt’. (And it’s a weird word, isn’t it?)

Having been assured we had a big audience waiting (yay!), Cat, Daniel, and I were escorted to our event and onto the spotlit stage. We talked about BLACKFIN SKY and THE LOST AND THE FOUND, where our influences had come from, the different ways we write and research our novels, and whether we would prefer muffins for hands or squirrels for feet (I believe Cat was to blame for this one). Then we each did a reading and took some fantastic questions from the audience, and the hour was up far too quickly.

Then on to the signing, held in the bookshop-tent next door, where Cat and I got to chat a little with a long line of awesome readers and leave our scribbles in their books before I bade farewell to the festival.

I had a wonderful time at Edinburgh International Book Festival, and managed to squeeze in a few hours to explore Edinburgh Castle and the city centre before heading back down the motorway for home. Next time I go, I will definitely plan a few more days so I can attend more author events and breathe in the wonderful atmosphere in Edinburgh.