My Experience at The London Book Festival

I truly didn’t know what to expect when I made the decision to attend The London Book Festival, but I made a decision at the beginning of 2014 to be open to the possibilities that life offers me and take advantage of opportunity when it knocks.  Well the London Book Festival knocked loudly and quickly and it tested my new resolution right away with the ceremony being held in London on January 23rd!  That gave me less than a month to decide if we should go, if we could go and then to actually put the travel plans from Florida to London into action.  It was a now or never moment and I was determined to make it work.

I am so glad that I got out of my shell and attended the London Book Festival.  I’d never entered my book in any contests before, so I’ve definitely never won or been honored before.  With The Geneva Project – Truth being my first novel, this is all so new to me.  At times it feels very overwhelming and I was nervous to attend an award festival with so many other writers that were surely more seasoned and talented than me.  But I told myself that I owed it to my book to at least go check it out and I’m so glad I did. 

It was truly an honor to be in a room with so many talented and creative people.  And not just any room, The British Library to be exact!  Just being at that venue alone was an honor.  The British Library is the largest library in the world, holding over 150 million items from all of the world.  The Library’s collections include around 14 million books, with some manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 2000 BC!  I was awestruck as I let my echoing footsteps carry me through its grand halls.  After briefly exploring the main library we made our way to the conference center, where the awards were being held.

 

Leah Bachar and Bruce Haring did an excellent job planning and hosting the awards ceremony.  My husband, Philip and I were greeted warmly by Leah who welcomed us and walked us through the events of the evening.  We thoroughly enjoyed mingled with all the other attendees during the cocktail reception.  Everyone was so friendly and just as excited as I was to have their work honored.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met and talked with so many talented authors from all over the world.  Joining people from such diverse backgrounds all in one place who share a common passion for writing is a truly incredible gift to experience.  It makes me realize that even though we possess such unique differences which shape who we are as individuals, we are also universally similar and can quickly bond over our shared interests. 

I loved hearing each author share their exceptional life stories and literary tales.  It was so gratifying getting to meet people who know the struggles of writing and hearing their passion and channels for success.  Everyone was so gracious and happy to share tips and ideas, as well as to celebrate each other’s success.  I am still speechless with gratitude for how kind and genuine everyone was.  The only thing I could have wished for, was more time! I could have spent hours there talking to each and every fascinating person. 

After our meet and greet cocktail hour, we were invited into a reception room where all of our books were on display.  Leah opened the ceremony with an inspirational speech, reminding us that what we do as writers is a gift and that we should be proud of our work and having the courage to put it out there.  She then introduced each award recipient, reading a brief synopsis of our work and then gave us the floor to make a short acceptance speech.  I was so moved by what everyone was saying, who they thanked, what they’d learned and appreciated as well as what inspired their writing.  I felt a connection to each author and was honestly humbled to be among the people in that room.

When it was my time to accept my award for Runner-up in the Young Adult category for The Geneva Project – Truth, I was doing my best to hold back tears of happiness.  My toast was short and sweet, honoring my son and expressing the joy writing brings me, as well as how much I love bringing families joy through literature. 

 

I’ve included the video of my acceptance speech if you’re interested in viewing it. I’ve also included a list of authors I met at the ceremony and I encourage you to check out their work.  They are all very gifted writers and more importantly wonderful people.

Mandy Flint/Elisabet Vinberg Hearn  THE TEAM FORMULA                   http://www.amazon.com/The-Team-Formula-Leadership-Found/dp/1780923473

Page Martin  PROMISE TO PAY THE BEARER                 http://www.amazon.com/dp/0988641402/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_sBx6sb04AM480V1Q

Charlotte Jones    THE ENCHANTED GRANDFATHER’S CLOCK http://www.amazon.com/dp/1291478086/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_hyx6sb0DM20GAVBP

William Peace    SABLE SHADOW AND THE PRESENCE http://www.amazon.com/dp/1628572418/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_0yx6sb0KQVXGSSWS

R.F. Tapsell    THE YEAR OF THE HORSETAILS                  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=R.F.%20Tapsell%20THE%20YEAR%20OF%20THE%20HORSETAILS%20

Lila Ivey    ANCIENT WISDOM, MODERN MASTER http://books.google.com/books/about/Ancient_Wisdom_Modern_Master.html?id=u6jhnAEACAAJ

Katherine Reynolds    UNDER THE RAINBOW                                       http://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Dance-Katherine-Reynolds/dp/0955011620/ref=sr_1_1/277-2491685-0030842?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391032439&sr=1-1&keywords=katherine+reynolds

Robin E. Lieske   AN IDIOT’S TALE: THE LOST WRITINGS OF RAPUNZEL http://www.amazon.com/dp/1492715700/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_TJx6sb1CFY2TFW0Y

Christina Benjamin   THE GENEVA PROJECT-TRUTH  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0988337517/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_WOx6sb1Q82YEY4CB

Julie Kessler   FIFTY/FIFTY,THE CLARITY OF HINDSIGHT http://www.amazon.com/dp/1622122186/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_VKx6sb021GKVWBBG

Dulce Rodrigues  BARRY’S ADVENTURE                                                   http://www.amazon.com/Barrys-Adventure-Dulce-Rodrigues-ebook/dp/B003ZK55B6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391032667&sr=1-1&keywords=Dulce+Rodrigues+BARRY%27S+ADVENTURE

Margaret Lambert   LONGING TO LIVE: JOURNEY WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME AND FIBROMYALGIA  http://www.amazon.com/dp/174284300X/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_CMx6sb0QR4EJ2ZN6

Patricia A. Sloan   WHERE DO THE MONDAYS GO?                              http://www.amazon.com/Where-Do-Mondays-Patricia-Sloan-ebook/dp/B004MMEGHA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391032808&sr=1-1&keywords=Patricia+A.+Sloan+WHERE+DO+THE+MONDAYS+GO%3F

Attending this event has really renewed my passion for writing and faith in humanity.  Not only did The London Book Festival remind me how valuable literature is, but it showed me how important it is to believe in yourself, chase your dreams and trust your heart.  Thank you Leah and Bruce for organizing a great event and thank you to all my fellow authors for making it an unforgettable evening.  I leave The London Book Festival inspired.  I can’t wait to finish my second book in The Geneva Project series and get it out there to all the readers.  Thank you all for your love and support.  You are all my inspiration.

 

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About cbenjamin79

I love animals, music, travel and writing about all of it.
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