It’s very easy to help yourself to other people’s stuff, especially within the family. What’s yours is practically mine. But that first Philip Pullman interview in 2005 was Son’s. I merely attended, and wielded the borrowed camera. Not very well, I might add.
From there grew the idea that one day I would do my own interview, and after some attempts at synchronising our diaries, I finally nailed Philip down when he came to the Manchester Children’s Book Festival.
I still suspected that Son might turn out to be the one with the most pertinent questions, so he came along to prop me up, and with the photographer we made it quite the family outing. We topped it by getting stuck on the train 30 seconds outside the station we were getting off at, rendering us late at the Midland Hotel.
We’ve paid attention to Philip’s socks and shoelaces in the past, and he never disappoints. As you can tell from our conversation, he is interesting in other respects too. While not having to worry about money for himself, he is concerned about what is happening in the world of books. He is a man who joins in, when there is a good cause.
What we want now is for Philip to have time to write all those books he talked about. So no more silly invitations to events, please! He came to Manchester. That’s enough.