Well, that could make me cry. Almost, anyway. Happy tears, you understand.
As the witch started negotiations with the Manchester Literature Festival people about an interview slot with Michelle Magorian, it felt like a good idea to say that Michelle might remember me from last year’s launch of Just Henry. I was told she did, but people can be polite, you know.
So, when we met in the Imperial War Museum’s café for our chat on Sunday afternoon, the first thing Michelle does is rummage in her bag, saying she’s got something for me. Nice, but what? I’ll tell you what. Only a lovingly signed copy of Just Henry in Swedish, which is just out. We did talk of translations last year. We did. But it was in a room full of people at a busy launch, and I was a complete stranger. What a memory!
Anyway, once we had been supplied with cups of tea, we got going with the interview. Not that Michelle felt there was anything interesting that she could tell me. The Resident IT Consultant attended, armed with a camera, since Daughter had taken herself and her camera off for half term. As a matter of fact, he didn’t do too badly at his first interview.
Michelle’s son George wandered off to look at the museum, while our twenty minutes somehow ended up being 45 (sorry, Alistair!). So we obviously must have found something to talk about.
Afterwards it was time for Michelle’s event, as the crowning glory of this year’s Literature Festival. They closed the museum, and us fans settled down in the main exhibition hall. As an author talk it rates as one of the best. Well delivered, as you’d expect from an actress, and very well chosen selection of readings from several of her books, with anecdotes in-between.
Michelle provided an interesting thread between all her stories, and the readings benefitted from a variety of accents. Good questions from the audience, with interesting answers. And I love a woman who can admit to waiting with her career, because she wants to spend time with her sons, even when they are as old as Michelle’s two. But with some luck, we’ll have a new Magorian novel some time next year. Yay!
(Photos by A Giles and D Giles)