Today I was MC at the Salley Vickers Literary Lunch, Part of PIAF’s Words and Ideas program. I have to say I approached the event with some trepidation. I haven’t “done” a literary lunch before either as a participant or MC, so I wasn’t sure what was expected. Rosemary at work asked me to do it. Yes I’m supposed to be on leave but they were keen for me to do it and she was very excited by the author although she hadn’t read any of her books.
So I received Mr Golightly’s Holiday and Miss Garnet’s Angel and started to read them – you’ve maybe read my thoughts on earlier blogs. I loved the books and had the luxury of time to absorb them and think about what I might say.
Then this morning Salley rings me and we have a lovely chat about her books and what she likes to talk about and I ran my “first question” past her which she said “hadn’t been asked before” – if you ever need to compliment a journalist say “Noone’s ever asked me that before” – such a buzz… anyway she sounded very nice and I was looking forward – in that butterfly kind of way – to the lunch.
Well it seemed to go off very well. Salley is delightful and such a generous author. She really gave fulsome answers to people’s questions and offered great insight into the way she writes and how her novels came about. My opening comments were well received – what a relief – and I was quite inspired to do more ‘festival’ things.
I am terrible – every year I look at the program and think how fantastic it looks but do I ever go to anything… At least we are doing Mr Cha Cha’s Ballroom! I was talking to one of the festival folk at the lunch and she recommended the Barking Gecko performance of Crabbing at High Tide which I think I’ll take the kids too… and I’ve been intrigued with Zastrossi which looks interesting. Of course the centrepiece seeking TRANSCENDENCE looks amazing and a must see.
Apart from that there is a free writers festival this weekend which has my name on it – in between kiddie commitments and cha cha rehearsals – and I must read Craig Silvey’s Rhubarb - the One Book of the festival.
I have though since returning home on this stupidly hot day started “Instances of the Number 3″ – the one Salley Vickers novel I haven’t read – and am already hooked!