Feeling festive

Had a good week last week, book-wise. On Friday, I found out that I’m on the bill for this year’s Byron Bay Writers Festival, 3-5 August. Not sure what sessions I’ll be doing yet, but very happy to be up on stage for the first time – especially as Byron is my old stomping ground and where my parents currently live.

Then I scored a return flight, Singapore-Gold Coast, for the festival weekend for just $170 on new budget airline, Scoot. Admittedly it’s cheap for a reason: no check-in luggage, no food, no entertainment, and they put you in an iron maiden for the duration of the flight (or something like that). But still.

Finally, a longish excerpt from Sicily, It’s Not Quite Tuscany appeared in The Weekend Australian on Saturday – page 2 of the “Travel & Indulgence” section. Here’s the link. I think the paper’s circulation is around a third of a million, so if every single person who buys the paper also happens to read the article and happens to go out and buy my book, I’ll have racked up 0.07% of J.K. Rowling’s total sales in one fell swoop.

But back to the Byron Bay Writers Festival. Buoyed by the news that I’ll be participating, I’m now thinking about trying for a place at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Bali, in early October. Sounds like the perfect venue for gathering with authors and readers to drink beer talk about books.

Ubud’s fairly special. I’ve been once – stayed at the remarkable Panchoran Retreat where some of the scenes from the unremarkable Eat Pray Love were filmed.

My most recent visit to Bali was a few weeks ago to write a magazine article about a couple of properties near Uluwatu in the Bukit Peninsula. Gobsmackingly picturesque and about as far removed from the Kuta vibe as it gets. Photos below (and more here):

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