On Saturday 6th May 2017, we (the Oldbury Writing Group) took part in the Museum of Cannock Chase’s VE Day Celebration to promote our World War Two anthology titled From Sunrise to Sunset.
As I mentioned in my ‘From Sunrise to Sunset Book Launch – My Experience’ post, last year we went to this VE Day event, and because we had so much fun (it was amazing), we decided to see if, as part of our book tour, we could do a book reading event at the museum.
Because we were taking part in the event, we had to dress up in 1940s costumes. I bought a red polka dot swing dress from Amazon. I paired this with my black cardigan and Mary Jane shoes. Due to the cold weather, I did wish I had worn trousers instead of a dress.
When we arrived, I spotted a man dressed as a soldier hiding in the bushes. This sighting started a whole hiding-in-the-bushes joke, which lasted the whole day. Actually, we still laugh about it now. We were then guided to a parking area. I must admit, at one point, I was worried that we were being taken to a secluded area to be kidnapped – it didn’t happen, but the idea might make its way into a story one day. When we were directed to the building we would be based at, we saw our names written on the board outside. For a couple of minutes, we got a little excited (I should say Angie, and I did. Dave and Andy played it cool).
The day started slowly. We had one audience member during our first book reading session. However, she was interested in our book and came to the event because she heard about us, so yeah, that’s great. We each read out two pieces from the anthology. I stood up because I’ve noticed I read better when I do. The pieces I read were, ‘The Women of the War’, ‘Our Colour is All You Can See’, and ‘Christmas 1940’. During our other sessions we had more people coming to listen to us, but, sadly, not as much as we had hoped. The weather wasn’t as good as last year’s, so we didn’t seem to have as many people coming to the event this year. However, we did have people to read out our stories and poems to, and a small audience is better than no audience.
There was a photographer (Memory Lane Photography) that was taking photos of people during the day. We couldn’t leave without having a group photo, especially with us all dressed up, so we got the photographer to take photos for us. We ordered a sepia styled photo, and the photographer took a coloured version for us on my camera, which I thought was really nice of him. I love our group photo – we kind of look like 1940s gangsters.
Even with a small turnout we still had a brilliant day. Three years ago I would have never believed that I would be taking part in a popular event, but thanks to my writing group this has happened. I feel blessed to have such a great writing group, and I can’t wait to see what happens during the rest of our book tour.
I would like to thank the Museum of Cannock Chase for allowing us to take part in their VE Day Celebration event. We had a great time, and hopefully, more people know about our book because of it.
If you would like to come to one of our other book reading events, then see our ‘book tour dates’ page for more details. We would love to see you there.
Keep writing, folks!