Saturday, 26 September 2009

In Which there Are Authors

I spent most of today in Bath, to attend several more events at the Bath Festival of Children's Literature, which ends tommorrow.

The first event I attended was a conversation with Philip Reeve and Geraldine McCaughrean hosted by a Daily Telegraph reporter, Sameer Rahim. Both authors seemed to be enjoying themselves..
Philip Reeve immediately made me think of the kind of dashing, if slightly rakish english gentleman whom one finds in Golden Age detective novels and adventure stories - I should love to believe that he might have arrived in a vintage Lagonda, or perhaps a bi-plane, pausing en route to solve a murder or recover the secret formula from a fiendish foreign spy. I wonder if I am letting my imagination run away with me?
Back to the festival. Both authors answering questions about their writing - both agreeing that while they will generally have a clear starting point or 'trailer' for a book at the outset, neither plans the story in great detail - indeed, both commented that thos would be very boring, as you would then be writing, knowing already what the end would be!
Philip Reeve then admitted that he perhaps "ought really to be writing historical novels, but can never be bothered to do all the research" whereas with his 'Mortal Engines' books he can pick the elements he wants from the Victorian era.
Both authors read short extracts from their new books - The Death Defying Pepper Roux and Fevercrumb (both of which I now want to read) before taking questions from the audience.
When asked for advice about becoming a write, McCaughrean's response was "lock yourself in a small room and then eat the key, because, frankly, we don't want the competition"... (followed up with some more ..conventional.. advice about telling the stories you want to tell, and the usefulness of getting feedback, (with reference to writing fanfic, and other online writing)
All in all, a well spent and entertaining hour. Followed by both authors signing, after which I moved on to the next event, which involved Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am very envious. Looks like it was a ridiculously delightful time. And would really, really like to meet Chris Riddell!
Billy Bones