March is quite a busy month one way and another. The 9th will see me infesting the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, although I’ll be around the Festival in the week without a doubt, doing my annual outside broadcast with Dubai Eye Radio, a gig I always enjoy immensely.
I'm kicking off my involvement in the LitFest this year with a presentation to 500 pupils of the Dubai American Academy which, I have to say, is a chilling prospect at the least.
If I survive that one, I’m then scheduled to take part in a moderated session with two other writers, Liz Fenwick and Sarah Hathorn called ‘First Fictions: Three different success stories’, which aims to explore different routes to getting published – Liz is publishing her debut, The Cornish House, in May with Orion while Sarah went self-pub back in 2010, when it wasn’t quite as fashionable as it is now. The session’s being moderated by literary agent Luigi Bonomi and should be an interesting debate on the road from ‘traditional’ publishing to today’s market-challenging publishing models.
First Fictions: Three different success stories is on Friday 9 March 15:00-16:00 at the Al Baraha 2 room at the InterContinental Hotel.
I’m also doing a workshop at the Emirates Festival on how to self publish and promote your book. As I said over at my ‘regular blog’ the other day, more and more people are taking matters into their own hands and self publishing, but it’s a unique game to play in the UAE for all manner of reasons and I’ll be extending as much help to others as I know how. I’ll also be looking at routes to digital marketing for authors, which is a problem many of us face when we’re trying to get our books ‘out there’.
Later in the month, there’s GeekFest Sharjah on the 22nd but that’s going to be an Olives Free Zone – the geeks have put up with enough of me promoting and pushing the book, they deserve a night off.
On the 27th and 28th, I’ll be in Beirut making trouble as usual at the seminal ArabNet Conference, the region’s leading – and largest - digital conference and a key event for anyone that cares about online technologies and how to use them to build cool things. I’ll be taking the opportunity to have a signing in Beirut and probably getting up to something noisy and naughty in Gemayze to celebrate Olives being on sale in Lebanon.
And then on the 29th, I’m doing a signing at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, as well as taking part in a panel session discussing the state of digital publishing in the Arab World as part of the professional programme. My co-panellists are an august bunch, so it’ll be fun to throw a brat with a pocket full of fireworks in there – and that’s precisely what I intend to be.
April 1st, I’ll have my feet up with a mug of cocoa looking forward to editing Beirut!