Sunday, June 9, 2013

AFCC Day Five

Before we knew it, the last day of AFCC was upon us. The sad thing about book festivals is they seem to fly by. And though the organisers are probably exhausted by the end of them, it is to their credit that the participants wish the festivals lasted just a tad longer.

Evelyn, Kenneth, Mr Rama, Corinne, Marjorie and the AFCC team

Ok, now let's see what I forgot to add in my other blog posts. Oh that's right, meeting Kathleen Ahrens, Chris Cheng, Naomi Kojima, Dianne Wolfer,  Norman Jorgensen  and Trevor Kew again was such a delight. I wish I had more time to catch up with them but the week buzzed by so quicky. I didn't even get a chance to take photos with them this year. Maybe next year or at some other festival.

Naomi and me at last year's festival

Norm, Dianne, Kenneth and me at last year's AFCC

James Foley's artwork is fantastic. You should buy his new book Into the Lion. I was so impressed that I thanked him for illustrating my next book. Now if you know me, you know my usual strategy is to thank an agent, publisher, illustrator for working for me and that's my blood contract with them. It's binding and lifelong.  No wonder, James made himself scarce after I thanked him. I was like, where did he go? Darn, I should have introduced myself to Chris Nix and thanked him too. Oh well, next time then.

James Foley (Photo from the net and not me)

It was nice talking to Susanne Gervay about her anti bullying campaign. I know all too well what bullying's  about and I'm glad she's heading the cause.  I also managed to talk to Holly Thompson's ear about my experience in publishing here and hopefully she'll be able to bend it back.:)

Chris Cheng
It was fantastic seeing Corinne Robson and Marjorie Coughlan of Paper Tigers whom I met at the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2012. Well, actually I met Corinne at AFCC 2011 but I only met Marjorie last year, where we had a fantastic dinner in Bologna.

So on the last day of the festival I attended the laugh a minute, laugh-out-loud session on humour by Chris Cheng, Nury Vittachi and Norman Jorgensen. Brilliant is the only word you could use to
desribe that session. Well  you could say it was a LUIPIMP session.

Congrats to my friends Evelyn Sue Wong and Sarah Mounsey who launched their books Something Special and Paw Prints on the 
Magic Sofa.

Craig and Sarah Mounsey

The festival drew to a close with the SCBWI Dinner at the Pod @NLB. Mr Rama gave a thank you speech to those who made the festival the success that it was. Kathleen Ahrens had to drag Festival Director Kenneth Quek out from his hiding place to acknowledge his much-deserved standing ovation. 

Myra Garces-Bascal and her literary 'husband' Tuting Hernandez launched their book Beyond Folktales, Legends and Myths. Chris Cheng and Susanna Goho-Quek also launched their stunning book Water, which is a delight to read out loud, especially if you have Chris Cheng's voice. He a made it an absolutely amazing audio experience. And the illustrations are a visual buffet for the eyes - delicious!

The authors and illustrator

Entertainment came in the form of Nicholas Mark who played several popular tunes on his dijideroo. And it was not just his dijideroo playing or kids' books that drew gasps of admiration.

Nicholas Mark

I overheard some ladies who shall remain nameless gushing over his other...ahem... attributes rather than his dijideroo playing skills. And of course, I will tease them mercilessly from now till forever more.

Naomi Kojima, Mio Debnam and Kenneth Quek

I was famished by the time dinner was served! And I stuffed myself! The food was really good, which is suprising because conference food usually sucks!  With hunger pangs satiated people started drifting out to continue their evening elsewhere. It was kind of sad to see everyone go. Candy was off to the Philippines the next day. Mio was headed back to Hong Kong. Wendy and Tom and Caz Goodwin were headed back to Australia. We said our goodbyes and the Pod couldn't have seemed emptier. I waited until the AFCC team had taken down the last of the banners and hitched a ride back home with Auntie Susanna and Kenneth.

It's over!!
There was a sinking feeling in my gut, the same kind of feeling that I get at the end of a nice trip...but I was coming down with a bug and I was stuck at home for the next couple of days. Well, it gave my mum a chance to catch up on a  week's worth of nagging! :)

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