Tuesday, 19 November 2013

This year I attended the Festival Of Romance in Bedford (8th - 10th November). It was a fantastic experience and so I'd like to share some of my experiences at the festival. I hope you enjoy my festival diary and the pictures! You can find part 2 tomorrow!

Day 1 - Friday 8th November 2013  - The journey!

Today saw me setting off on my very own literary adventure. I am a bit of a nervous traveller as I am terrifed of getting lost. My friends all call me geographically challenged as I often end up in completely the opposite direction to where I am supposed to be. So, to say I was a little bit nervous as I arrived at Belfast International Airport for my flight to London Luton, was an understatement! Once I finally boarded the plane after finding the right departure gate, I was suddenly filled with anxiety. What if the people I had been chatting to online didn't like me? What if they found me boring? What if I was not what they were expecting? What if I embarrassed myself? What if my luggage got lost and I had no dress to wear to the ball!

Landing in Luton airport I was then tasked with making my way to Bedford. This involved a shuttle bus to the train station and then making sure I boarded the correct train. Thankfully I did and was by this point feeling quite pleased with myself! No disasters! Arriving at Bedford station, I had to make my way to the hotel. Again, those anxieties hit me and I had a mini panic attack in my hotel room!
JB meets Janice Horton, Linn B Halton, Sheryl Browne and Mandy Baggot

JB and Les Moriarty
JB and Janice Horton
After dinner, I arranged to meet some of my lovely online friends in the hotel reception area. All those feelings of fear and worry immediately left me as I was almost hugged to death! I actually had to force myself not to cry as I was finally meeting some of the wonderful authors who had taken me under their wing since I began blogging! To meet Sheryl Browne (those who know me know I am an absolutely mad Sheryl Browne fan), Linn B Halton, Janice Horton was just amazing! And then, suddenly the terrifically funny Mandy Baggot was there! Just when things couldn't get any better, Les Moriarty arrived! A true gent who had become a fab online friend! Within a few minutes I was surrounded by so many fab people! I felt like I'd come home! It was lovely to catch up for the rest of the evening.

Day 2 - Saturday 10th November 2013 - A day of events!

JB and Dizzy C
The day started nice and early and began with readings by some wonderfully inspiring authors. To be surrounded by such talent almost had me giddy with excitement. On the way the event, and accompanied by lovely Les Moriarty, I bumped into the lovely Manda Jane Ward! We'd been chatting together online and I recognised her instantly from her photos. At the author readings I also got the chance to meet a fellow blogger Carol Wright who blogs under the name DizzyC. I instantly hit it off with Carol. She's so fab!

It was also great to meet another fab blogger, Kim Nash, who was lovely and also the gorgeous Heidi from Cosmochicklitan.
The list of people I met that morning is just too long to mention everyone. But, they were all so kind and welcoming!
Kim Nash

(you can just make out Manda Jane Ward in the purple cardigan)

From the author readings we moved onto the Romance Fair which included a range of stalls set out by authors showcasing their books. Here I finally got to meet the fantastic Nicky Wells. Nicky had recently interviewed me for her radio show and has always been amazingly kind to me. She was as wonderful as I had imagined, despite being quite unwell that day. Later on there were some readings and question and answer sessions with lots of lovely authors.
JB and Nicky Wells

The day was filled with meeting so many more of the fantastic authors whose books I had read or who were my friends online. It was a day filled with lots of love, hugs and being made to feel very special. I also met another blogger friend - Kirsty Maclennan from The Love of  A Good Book.

JB Johnston at the fair!
Nicola May

 Miranda Dickinson

Sue Welfare

Mandy Baggot
Sheryl Browne
After the romance fair it was great to get together with Kate Allan, Festival organiser and all the rest of the bloggers as we met up for a drink. It was lovely to be able to discuss having bloggers recognised at the Festival of Romance this year and DizzyC, Kirsty and myself were extremely excited because we had been shortlisted for an Industry award along with Sharon Goodwin and Tanya Farrell, both of whom couldn't be present at the awards. Which one of us would win Romance Blogger of the Year!?? Pop by the blog tomorrow to find out more!

15 Responses so far.

  1. A fab post about a fab weekend. It was really great to meet you honey. Not sure what face I was pulling on that picture though! Lots of love. Kim xxx

  2. A great post your excitement is easily shown in your words. Sounds like you had an amazing experience xXx

  3. Dizzy C says:

    Great write up of the first part of the weekend.
    I am still chasing my tail and not reported on the festival yet.

    So great to meet you finally and what a ball we had!

    carol x

  4. Mandy says:

    YAY!! What a great recap of the weekend!! Looking forward to part 2! It was so nice to meet you! Can't wait for the next time!

    Mandy xx

  5. What a weekend - and I'm only just catching up with everyone now ... Look at all those lovely smiles and it was amazing to meet up in person!!! Lxx

  6. Woooohoo, it was so great to meet you, JB! Thanks for this wonderful post with all the lovely pictures. Makes me nostalgic for the event and counting the days until next time! Take care, and I'll look forward to part 2!! XX

  7. You could ever embarrass yourself, JB! You are a total breath of fresh air. I have no idea where I would be without you and other lovely bloggers. I certainly have no idea where I would be without your lovely, bubbly persona lightening my load and making me laugh out loud on the various forums. It was fabulous to meet you. You're just gorgeous! And so is Les (I do love his smile), but don't tell him I said so. It will go straight to his head! Three cheers for our fabulous bloggers and reviewers!!! :) xx

  8. What a roll call! It's like reading about a family event lol. So glad you had a good time and managed your travelling so well (I'm a bit the same, and have had panic attacks, too).

    Great to read your post, JB - thanks for all the photos, too!

  9. What an amazing experience!!! Wish I could have been there. :)

  10. Oh wow! Just home from work and read all your amazing comments. Thanks so much everyone for all your lovely kind words. Love you all. x

  11. Anonymous says:

    It was brilliant to meet you in person JB really glad you enjoyed it! :D

  12. What a lovely post - and so totally fab to meet you at last, lovely lady! It was an amazing weekend and I do hope we can do it all again sometime. What fun!

    Janice xxxx (sending you more hugs!)

  13. Sounds as though you all had a fabulous weekend. Hopefully we can meet next time. Great post! Kit x

  14. Glynis says:

    I'm rolling on the floor with laughter ... embarrass yourself?

    Nah, leave that to me, I do it much better! ;) Mind you, it is good that I did pick up the wrong glass as it meant I made a great new friend!

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