I really enjoy the social element of the NCBF: instead of a lonely hotel room somewhere, a meal for one with a book, followed by sitting on the bed to watch rubbish TV (pause to wipe a tear...), all the authors and illustrators at the NCBF are put up in the same hotel. It's so lovely meeting new people, and each evening we get to have dinner together.
We're shipped out every morning to a different area in the region, to work in various libraries or schools, before being dropped back again at the end of the day.
I took the train up on Tuesday afternoon and started my visits in Hartlepool on Wednesday, then Durham today, S. Tyneside on Friday. I'll be up there until Saturday night though, because Saturday is a wee bit special: a climax to the festival called Gala Day.
There is a big Gala Dinner the night before in Stockton, with everyone involved, then we all strut our stuff the following day. I will be doing events with Julia Jarman on Gala Day. We've done this several times now, and it's always good fun and rather mad. We had a great time together in Edinburgh.