First of all, obviously, tons of thanks, flowers, good wishes and virtual wine to Scarlett Flame for all the work she put in to organising Manchester Author Event and Gig (#MAEG16). I had a really gorgeous, fun-filled day: making new friends, catching up with old ones, networking, hanging out, talking about books constantly, and even modelling a corset in the fashion show.
The venue was the Astley Green Colliery Museum, a fantastic visual backdrop and intriguing to anyone (like me) with a taste for industrial archaeology and steam-driven machinery. There was food (and very yummy food), plenty of loos and a very fairly-priced bar – one of many ways in which the #MAEG16 differed from other events I’ve gone along to with a bag of books and badges to sell.
Most smaller-scale fetish events are held in licensed premises of some sort or another, but the refreshments on offer can be either overpriced or simply grim – at least the majority turn a blind eye to the stallholders bringing in their own six-packs and sandwiches, but some will even confiscate a water bottle if it wasn’t purchased on the premises.
It was also very interesting to be selling books in a setting where everyone else was selling books, and the punters were all there to buy books: everywhere else I have ever been has mainly been about buying and selling fetishwear, sex toys and kink paraphenalia (and no, I have no objection whatsoever to that.)