Tag Archives: wedding

Review of 2017: Vic Watson

The turn of the year comes around quick, doesn’t it? It seems like only yesterday I was telling you all how great 2016 had been! But, here we are, another year older with more experiences under our belts. I must thank everyone who has taken the time to review their year on the blog and to everyone who’s read, shared and commented posts from this blog throughout the last year. Here’s to a happy, healthy 2018! 

Professionally speaking, this year has been another cracker. Noir at the Bar has continued to grow, with factions popping up all over the UK. I’m delighted that the one in Newcastle continues to be popular and I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to be in the Blues Bar in Harrogate on Thursday, 20th July. Presenting Noir at the Bar Harrogate to a packed audience was just incredible. Possibly one of the highlights of that day was a gentleman who asked me at the end of the event how often we ran it as he hadn’t known it was going to be on. I said “Sorry, have we hijacked your quiet afternoon pint?” He laughed and said he was thrilled to have stumbled upon the event and would definitely come to them on purpose in future! 


This year’s Newcastle Noir saw me do my first ever panel. I was on a panel with Susan Heads of the Book Trail, Quentin Bates, Sarah Wood and the powerhouse behind Orenda Books – Karen Sullivan. Our panel was moderated by the wonderful Miriam Owen and I enjoyed that hour immensely.


Another hour that was fun was appearing on the award-winning ArtyParti at Spark FM with Mandy Maxwell, Iain Rowan, Kirsten Luckins and Tony Gadd. We talked to Jay Sykes about writing and events, it was a lovely atmosphere and I felt completely relaxed thanks to the excellent host. 


My writing groups are still going strong and I arranged a stranding retreat on St Mary’s Island in August and the participants gave very positive feedback. I hope to run more retreats next year. 


I’ve had a lot of people asking if I’ve finished my novel yet and when they’ll be able to buy it so that’s very encouraging. I’ve also had a few people tell me they’d like to hear it on Audible which is a real compliment. Thanks to my friend Kay setting me an achievable weekly word target, I’ve almost completed my first draft. 

Hmm, favourite personal memory? Tough one, that. Well, I suppose I’d better say that getting married to the love of my life was the highlight of my year. Just kidding – of course it was! 

I walked down the aisle with my dad to ‘You’re So Cool‘ by Hans Zimmer (featured in ‘True Romance‘) in front of our closest friends and family. 


Instead of going for sugar almonds as wedding favours, we gave everyone a book. The Boy Wonder and I are both bookworms and we therefore wanted to give our guests a personalised gift. We didn’t have a lot of guests and we enjoyed thinking which book to choose for each of the guests – we were like a real life algorithm! 


The day we got married, I was emailed by the production team from ‘The Chase’ to say that my episode – recorded in July 2016 – would be aired on 30th March so watching that was a lot of fun too.


OK, I didn’t mention ‘The Chase’ in my 2016 Review but, contractually, I wasn’t allowed! Watching my episode, despite knowing the result, was nerve-wracking. I actually didn’t mind seeing myself on TV – I was nowhere near as critical of myself as I was expecting to be! I watched with my husband (I love saying that), my brother and three friends. I got lots of lovely messages from friends all over the country.  


I’d also like to say what a special day my hen do was. I never wanted a fuss and opted to go for afternoon tea with my friends and my mum. I cannot explain what a lovely occasion that was. Those wonderful women made me feel like a million bucks. 


My film of the year was ‘Get Out‘, second would be ‘Dunkirk‘. 

I have enjoyed many books this year including ‘Darktown‘ by Thomas Mullen, ‘The Prime of Miss Dolly Greene‘ by E.V Harte, ‘Lost for Words‘ by Stephanie Butland and ‘Small, Great Things‘ by Jodi Picoult. I also loved ‘Everyone Brave is Forgiven‘ by Chris Cleave. And a late entry has to be ‘Good Me, Bad Me‘ by Ali Land. However, my top three – in no particular order – are ‘Six Stories‘ by Matt Wesolowski, ‘Yellow Room‘ by Shelan Rodger and ‘The Break‘ by Marian Keyes. 

Song of the year? Hm. Anything that was on our wedding playlist – we chose all the songs ourselves. We tried to have at least one track for each of the wedding guests so either a track that reminded us of them or one we knew they liked.
Other music I’ve listened to this year includes a lot of music from the Nashville OSTs, ‘…Ready For It?‘ and ‘Look What You Made Me Do‘ by Taylor Swift. 

There has been illness and sadness but most of us are still here – and that is wonderful.

However, the death of Helen Cadbury in June was a tremendous loss to many of us in the writing community – and beyond. Helen was a friend to me. She was always kind, supportive and quick with a joke. She pulled out of Noir at the Bar in February because she was poorly but I didn’t know the extent of her illness. In July, we raised our glasses to toast Helen at Noir at the Bar in Newcastle and Harrogate. Helen made such a positive impact on so many that it felt right to dedicate the events to her.

The last time I saw Helen was at Harrogate Festival in July 2016 although I had spoken to her since. She, Lucy Cameron and I joked about having similar hair colours and styles. Helen said we should call ourselves the three northern blondes and take a selfie. For some reason, that photo didn’t get taken and I regret that missed opportunity.

I have yet to read ‘Race to the Kill‘, the final novel in the Sean Denton trilogy, or her collection of poetry, ‘Forever Now‘, because I don’t want to come to the end of Helen’s work. Of course, I won’t put it off forever. 

Resolutions? Just keep on keeping on, I think. I over commit and trying not to do that remains a work in progress. 

I hope that this world will sort itself out. There are so many things going wrong and I hope that things will be put right but in order for that to happen, we all need to engage. 

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Review of 2016: Casey Kelleher

I briefly met Casey Kelleher at Harrogate in July this year. She’s a lovely lass and I’m really happy to have her on the blog to review her year. Thanks for being involved, Casey!
Vic x
Do you have a favourite memory professionally from 2016?
In April this year I signed a three book deal with Bookouture, which I am over the moon about. My editor Keshini Naidoo is just fantastic, and she really gets my style of writing and characters. So far we have released ‘The Taken‘ in October ’16, and ‘The Promise‘ is due for publication in February ’17, with the final book looking likely for publication in May.

 

And how about a favourite moment from 2016 generally?
We bought a new house! We’re actually moving a week before Christmas so everything is very hectic in our house right now, but I cannot wait. I will finally have my very own office, and room for a gigantic bookshelf, I’m ridiculously excited about that! 

 

Favourite book in 2016?
It’s not out until 2017 but I received an advanced copy of Sarah Pinborough’s ‘Behind Her Eyes‘, and wow! It’s a really great read. Very different, with a mind blowing twist. 

 

 
Favourite film in 2016?
Bridget Jones Baby‘, as I’m a massive fan of Bridget. Helen Fielding is such a fantastic writer, and it’s as if Renée Zellweger was made for the role.

 

Favourite song of the year?
Ohh, far too many to choose from. Anything by Sia. The woman is a genius. I’m loving ‘Human‘ by Rag’n’Bone Man too at the moment.

Are you making resolutions for 2017?
I’m a bridesmaid next year for my sister-in-law’s wedding, and we’re also going to Tuscany for another of my good friends weddings so I’d like to get a bit more in shape.

What are you hoping for from 2017?
I’m hoping that myself and my family have a fantastic year. Lots of quality time together with our friends and family. That we enjoy our new home, and village life, and that my books continue to do as well as they have been.

Review of 2016: Carolyn Batcheler

Today, we welcome Carolyn Batcheler to the blog. This lovely lady is here to review her 2016. Thanks for being involved, Carolyn.
Vic x 
cb
Favourite professional memory: Getting one of my favourite stories published in Number Eleven Magazine – it’s called Bright Shiny Things!
Favourite moment 2016: My son’s wedding party in August. Lovely to have my family all together and see friends. Loved embarrassing them doing my speech which was done in form of 2 poems. The one I wrote about my son had the refrain “Richard doesn’t like bananas but he does like…”
jane-rich-312-3
Favourite book: My son bought me book 1 of Jim Butcher’s ‘The Dresden Files‘ for Christmas. I have now read all 15 of the series and love every one. They are sci-fi detective books about a very attractive wizard! You’ve got to love supernatural crime! Also good to read books alongside other family members.
Favourite song: Always anything Dylan… Loved him getting the Nobel prize! He has been part of my life for many years. Inspirational words…
Downsides: Too many bereavements…enough said.

Resolutions: There is no point in me making any. I would have broken them by the afternoon of January 1st. I would rather take positive moves rather than trying to stop doing something. Perhaps more travel would be the thing!
Hopes: More writing opportunities, more travel opportunities, more time with family and friends, more fun, more sunshine, more life! Always want to experience new things so I hope for things I haven’t even thought of yet!