Sunday, 13 September 2009

Interim news

This is not the main point of this particular blog, but I thought (maybe self-centredly) that it would be an idea to include a picture on it. It certainly looks more interesting. 
This is me (furthest left) with most of my family taken last Spring  in Wales. Next to me is my husband, and then sundry daughters, husbands, partners and grandchildren.  It was a particularly happy day,  with the sun rather unusually shining. Oh, and it was my birthday. Missing are Daughter Number One and her husband and children, (all resident in Sydney)and Daughter Number Three's fiance, who was taking the photograph. He is now her husband; they were married later in the year ( already covered in Another Blog)
It may be the last picture you'll see here for some time, as I don't quite know how I managed to get it onto the page in the first place (see first blog re my complete lack of technical expertise. I went to the Apple Store in Regent Street the other day and it was like landing on the Moon; very beautiful and futuristic, and full of wonderful, magical things, but they speak a different language from me there.  Not only did I not understand their answers, they didn't understand my questions. They were charming and helpful, though and we managed in the end.)
Anyway, what this blog is really all about is something that occupies both my time and attention a great deal at this time of year and that is the Wimbledon Book Festival, known as the Bookfest. I am one of the  patrons, and in three years it has grown into something truly impressive. None of the credit to me, but to the proper organisers, who do all the work. It was the brainchild of an absolute whirlwind of a person called Fiona Razvi, who decided one day that what Wimbledon needed was a literary festival,  and set about bringing it to life in rather less than six months (she's that sort of lady) together with the  Chairman of the Festival, Tony Kane and other equally gifted and determined people. It runs for ten days or so, and is launched by the Mayor of Wimbledon on the morning of Saturday October 3rd,  at St.Mark's Place, next to Wimbledon Library, Wimbledon Hill Road. There   will be  storytelling in the actual library, and several authors will be signing their books,  including Michelle Paver from 10 to 11, June Whitfield from 10.45 to ll.15 and me from  10.30 to 11.30. The other events I'm personally involved in are my "regular" event, Girls Night Out, on Monday October 5th when two other authors and I basically just sit and chat about our work and take questions from the audience over a glass of wine or  two. That is to say the audience gets some wine too. It really is great fun; joining me this year  are JoJo Moyes, whose new book The Horse Dancer is the most brilliant and intriguing tale, and Jessica Ruston, who's just published her first blockbuster,  Luxury, and very good it is too. That's at Wimbledon's rather posh hotel, Cannizaro House at 8 pm (doors open at 7.30) I'm also interviewing  Sadie Jones, whose first book, The Outcast won endless acclaim and awards and whose second, Small Wars is so totally gripping I couldn't  put it down. That's at Waterstone's on Wimbledon Bridge, at 7.30 (doors open at 7) and you also get a glass of wine, or a soft drink if you're that way inclined. (I'll be the one with the wine. )
I can't list all the other events, but they are many and wonderful, ranging from an evening at the Polka (the famous children's theatre in Wimbledon and another passion of mine) with Gyles Brandreth, Julian Fellowes, script writer extraordinaire,  talking about his latest novel, Deborah Moggach discussing her work, Max Hastings on Churchill,  and a Literary Lunch with June Whitfield.  There's also a children's Literature Festival at the Polka on Saturday October 10th . 
It'd be lovely to see you there. I'm so proud of being part of it. 
Full details on the Bookfest website,

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