Fiona McIntosh certainly wowed the crowd at Launceston's Hotel Grand Chancellor in early December. Fiona is not only a hugely popular fiction writer she is a brilliant raconteur as well, and gave us all a fascinating insight into how thoroughly she researches her novels - and the sometimes hilarious situations she gets into in the name of capturing authenticity.

The 70+ audience clearly enjoyed our first pre-Festival event, which was a terrific success. Many thanks to sponsors Hotel Grand Chancellor for providing a wonderful venue (and food!), and Petrarchs who co-hosted the event. Well-known local freelance writer and broadcaster Hilary Burden got the conversation with Fiona going over a pot of tea - very apt since Fiona's latest book is of course The Tea Garden.

While congratulations are due to all our raffle prizewinners, nobody went home entirely empty-handed as there was a beautifully packaged teabag for everyone to take!