No one will ever convince me that social media is the be all and end all of marketing. It has its place, undoubtedly – otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this right now – and in these interesting times when actually getting together with people is barely possible it has been a vital way of connecting. But it’s not the same as being in the same room as people.

For a couple of years now, I’ve been going along to a get-together organised by Kerry Parsons of Chat About Books and Steph Lawrence of StefLoz Book Blog. These events are for authors and book bloggers and take place two or three times a year in Stoke-on-Trent. From the several I’ve been to, I’ve met some great people, most of whom are very supportive, and in a variety of ways.

At probably the last but one before COVID did its stuff, I was walking past a table when someone I hadn’t met before called me over. It’s part of the joy of these things that people want to connect and talk. So I sat down and started chatting with Zoe Sharp, quickly finding out we had a few things in common. A few other people were round the table, and I spoke to them all briefly, but the greatest conversationalist turned out to be the mother of one of the bloggers.

I think she’d come along for the day out, and it’s often these unexpected guests that offer a different slant on proceedings. As it happens, I don’t think I actually got to say more than a couple of words to her daughter, so the connection I would ordinarily have hoped to make eluded me. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered the daughter, Yvonne, had included Ravens Gathering in her 20 Books of Summer reading list. More than that, she seemed to like it.

“From a dark, eerie and very creepy start, it took me on a journey that I found myself very quickly wrapped up in.”

To find out what else she had to say, click on the book cover below.



So, my thanks to Yvonne for a fantastic review – but another reminder that it pays to spend time with people. When we eventually can again…