The first today was to see Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve who were in Bath as part of their #PugsRoadshow tour.
I admit that I am just a little bit older than the target audience for 'Pugs of the Frozen North' but it's a lot of fun.
I haven't yet read the book but I understand that it follows the adventures of friends on a race to the North Pole, in a dog-sled pulled by 66 pugs (in warm woolly jumpers) competing with various other characters (all with splendid names, such as Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling, and his butler Sideplate)
The event included a musical interlude with added 'Yip's from the audience, the creation and playing of a game and a quick lesson in how to draw a pug.
I also got a lot of fun from eavesdropping on some of the conversations which various small children were having with their parents... (particularly the small boy behind me, explaining excitedly how Sarah got her Yeti Hands!
And it was very nice to meet Philip again, and to meet Sarah in person after following her blog and having the occasional exchange on twitter.
Pugs of the Frozen North is the 3rd book these two have created together, and they are all well worth checking out, particularly if you have children!
As advertised, the panel was supposed to include A.L. Kennedy, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Mark Gatiss, but it turned out that Gatiss was unavilable, so James Goss (who has written both Doctor Who and Torchwood novels, including Summer Falls) took his place. A L Kennedy has also written a Doctor WHo novel (featuring the 4th Doctor) and Cottrell Boyce wrote the Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
A.L. Kennedy talked about being a lifelong Doctor Who fan, and about a habit of wearing sensible flat shoes due to noticing at an early age that women wearing high heeled shoes tend to tip, or break their heels, and get killed by Daleks or other monsters..
Cottrell Boyce made the point that one of the effects of the show's longevity is that it is now written and produced and run by fans - it's basically its own fanfiction. He also said that when he was asked to write an episode, his immediate response (like everyone's, he says) was to ask whether his children could visit the TARDIS, and to accept when told they could - no questions about fees or deadlines or anything else..
There was a lot of love for Romana, and for City of Death, and discussions about different Doctors. And of course, as soon as the panel noticed that someone had brought K9 along, the entire panel ground to a halt as K9 came up on stage...
Oh, and when you hear about a movement to have the Doctor Who theme music adapted as the new National Anthem - this is where it started..!