Some of you may have cottoned on to the fact that I’m quite fond of Meg Rosoff. I like her books, obviously, but I also like her as a person – a lot. Our acquaintance began with me writing Meg as level headed a fan letter as I could manage, just prior to her winning the Guardian prize five years ago. Then I believe I went on to tell her I’m a witch, and that I knew she’d win the Costa, too.
That’s why Meg knows not to trust my predictions one hundred percent, but as you will see in the interview, she does believe in witches. Thank goodness.
When we first met, I fully intended to buy her a coffee or something, but she insisted she was buying. Meg searched her jacket pockets to see how much money she had, as she’d come out without her handbag. ‘Let’s see what we can get for £6’, she said. Afterwards she drove Daughter and me to Euston, almost getting us involved in some road rage on the way. Let’s just say that it was a novel experience for us country bumpkins.
The reason I’ve delayed asking Meg for an interview has been that when you have an on-going, intermittent email discussion about anything you happen to think of, it’s actually quite hard to work out what to ask in a more structured meeting. So I kept putting it off, but when The Bride’s Farewell was published I felt now was a good moment. We turned out to be very incompatible for time, so in the end Meg seemed to decide she would be free when it suited me, which was very kind of her, as we were able to meet when I was in London anyway.
Meg’s books are dangerous. I looked through Bride while searching for questions, but found myself just sitting there reading it, again, with no thought of interview questions.
What we have in common, apart from age, is that we are both immigrants, so in the end I felt that was a good point to start our conversation. One thing I didn’t get round to, was seeing how our paths almost crossed as early as 1977-78, when we both ran around London having fun.