Avec diverse alarums

I got there early to avoid the crowds. Well, it was a good idea

This week for me has been about diversity… and the many different ways we express our individuality.

The reason – books and knitting. To explain.

I was looking forward to the Knitting and Stitching Show at London Olympia – the exhibition space and convention centre in Kensington. It’s huge. I had forgotten just how big it is. It’s the site of the Great British Beer Festival, webmaster John’s birthday treat most years. It’s also the site of this month’s London Book Fair.

There were people everywhere and I noticed two things. A lot of people seemed to have been hurt in some accident. And there were a lot of people wearing black T-shirts and carrying guitars. Then there was the clothing rail with what seemed like a million yards of white tulle and silk emerging from the dress bags.

It turned out that Olympia was hosting several events all at once this weekend … a Walking Dead Convention (those accident victims turned out to be zombies); a Bass Guitar show, A Bridal Show, a Child Care conference and of course the Knitting and Stitching Show that was my destination.

Waiting for the various doors to open, rock guitarists in black leather queued beside elderly ladies clutching knitting bags. Zombies strolled past racks of bridal gowns. It’s amazing the things people find they have in common sometimes. Quite apart from the joy of adding to my already ginormous wool stash, it was fun to see so many diverse people all together having a good time.

Also fun was a knitted garden full of knitted and crocheted vegetables.

Diversity has also been on my mind with regard to books. As I write, it’s just over a week until the announcement of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards, and yes, I am getting very excited. A group of the nominated books (including my Little Girl Lost) are taking part in an Instafreebie giveaway.

Thanks to my friend and fellow shortlisted author Rhoda Baxter for hosting the giveaway.

Looking at the books on the page – I was struck by the diversity of characters, subject matter, settings and, as I read them, by the immense range of writing styles. I love that readers are so very different tastes. I love that writers have so very different styles. That’s what makes finding new authors such fun!

Do drop by the promotion and download some free samples. Try some new authors. If might be as much fun (dare I say more fun) as exhibition halls of zombies and wedding dresses and knitting yarn.

The Night King from Game of Thrones didn’t visit the Walking Dead Show. He hung out with the knitters and stitchers. Possibly because he was made of fabric.