Day 3 was short, but sweet. Being in the same room as Joan Lingard is quite a bonus. And the press pod was full of people wanting to interview Griff Rhys Jones. Daughter said ‘who?’, and I tried to explain, but could come up with nothing that worked. Even seeing Griff being interviewed did nothing for her. Hopeless.
The witch and her very useful photographer had gone to some trouble to beg tickets for Friday’s event, and we were delighted to meet up with the lovely Georgia from Random, who puts lots of great books our way. We were even introduced to her equally nice Random boss. (That’s Random, not random, btw.) A bit of networking may even make me think I’m doing something grown-up, rather than just play.
Just one event made the day feel almost like a holiday. Theresa Breslin had worried she’d have no audience, seeing as she was on at the same time as Michael Morpurgo. But she did have an audience, and between you and me, the smaller venue was preferable, and the feeling of not being a sardine was beneficial. Not standing in a Morpurgo-sized queue was another bonus.
Theresa is a former librarian, who even as an adult was so scared of the librarian from her childhood library, that she crossed the road to avoid meeting her. And writing historical fiction, she has been contacted by her former history teacher, too, so her past seems intent on catching up.
She picks up the oddest ideas and sentences wherever she comes across them, and writes a story around them. It can be simple things like selling your alligator at a car boot sale, or the more advanced notion of collecting amputated limbs in a bucket. And stuff in-between.
We should believe in horoscopes and it’s apparently ‘normal’ to be loopy around a full moon. I think that Theresa was trying to tell us that her scientist husband can prove that the planets rule our lives, or some similarly far fetched idea. Mr B wore his Nostradamus tie, and Theresa read from The Nostradamus Prophecy, and as a witch I sort of have to agree with all that stuff. Sort of.
The next book from this Dickens-reading library-ticket-cheat is about the Spanish Inquisition, and we got to hear a little from the first draft. No doubt she will now go and change it all. And her editor will find more things still that hadn’t been invented at the time, thus having no business being in Theresa’s book.
(Photos by H Giles)