We arrived back in Melbourne this morning from an extended All Saints Lit Fest 2011 stay. From balmy Perth to chilly 6 degrees Melbourne where we could play 'what animal is this' with our breath puffs in the cold 5am air. All Saints Lit Fest is like an oasis in the sandy dunes of an author's life. It's not just the kids - who are fantastic and engaged and fun - or the incredibly beautiful grounds and facilities or the warmth of Kris Williams and staff - but it's hanging around with other people who think that writing for children is a perfectly normal way to spend your time.
Thanks to the volunteer students who helped us get to where we were supposed to be, to the Green Room volunteers who kept the goodies coming and the Green Room cleaned as if by magic, and the drivers who picked up and dropped off and made getting around worry free.
Marcus Zusack officially launched the Lit Fest in a very laid back and warm style, which set the tone for the rest of the Fest. Saw plenty of The Book Thief books being sold at the Fest Book Shop.
I suspect that Fest guru, Kris Williams, cloned herself for the festival period as she seemed to be everywhere at the same time. Here she is with her gorgeous daughter who pitched in to help ensure things ran smoothly.
Left to right: Meg McKinlay, Susanne Gervay and Kate McCaffrey offer some words of wisdom, but I've decided not to change the title to Seven.
Book signing time - Mark Carthew, Julia Lawrinson (Captain of winning Debate team FOR books) and Shirley Marr - adoring fans are out of shot.
Felice Arena knocks back some Friday Pizza in the Green Room, but who is he reading about? Is that Shirley Marr on the cover of Today?
And to top it all off, our hosts Margie, Tim and Alfie made us very welcome and we miss them already. Thanks a lot you awesome trio!