The feedback on Literary Festivals this year in the press suggests that it is time perhaps that they offered something more active than sitting listening to people talking about their books. Funny how things can get a bit samey over the years. It isn’t that long ago that people would have been thrilled to hang on every word spoken by John Mortimer or PD James, in the flesh as it were. But that has grown a little familiar, so something new is required. I have come up with my own something new for the Penfro Book Festival this year, and seeing as the most popular form of novel is a mystery (even romance is usually a mystery of some kind) I’ve built a mystery game. It’s an idea which might go really well or fail miserably. I’m hoping that families who come to the festival will enjoy it. It begins with me telling the brief story – how an item came to be stolen and the thief attempted to escape, and how, after running across the fields he ends up in the middle of a book festival where he hides his precious stuff somewhere not so far away! The audience are then drafted in as deputies and given clues to finding both thief and the stolen item. There is a prize of a token to spend at the festival, but the real fun, it is hoped will be in taking part in the game itself which of course all takes place in the beautiful gardens of Rhos y Gilwen Mansion which is where the Penfro Book Festival happens over the weekend of 13-16 September. It’s a vintage year this year with Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Lucy Gannon, Jim Perrin and many others. So whether my little mystery game is going to be a success is not of major import in the scheme of things, but it is just so good to be doing something that can involve parents and kids together in something active and fun, and I for one, am really looking forward to it.