Books

Authors in October – Part 4

And so the day is coming to an end. I am still at Guildford if you are reading these posts and thank you for staying with me.  It will soon be time for the train home.

Refreshed after that afternoon cuppa, it is time for the final three authors of the day.

Erin Kelly (The Poison Tree), Katherine Webb (The Legacy) and Andrew Martin (Jim Stringer Railway Detective books). The conversation was geared around favourite childhood reads and mentioned some books of my childhood with ease.

Obviously there were the wonderful Enid Blyton and Erin Kelly was a fan of the less popular mystery series The Five Find Outer’s which I loved more than the Famous Five and Secret Seven and also The Faraway Tree. I wanted to talk to Erin about these books especially as I have in recent months gone back and reread them, plus she then moved on to Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Erin obviously meant the originals of Blyton’s work – not the sanitised (my words) pc version that is now available. Erin I hope you read your children the originals of these.

Katherine Webb remembers the Funny Bones story by Janet & Allan Alhberg and many of us even remembered the words, “dark, dark street, dark, dark house…”. I had forgotten all about this book, must have a sneaky look in the library or book shop for it.

Andrew Martin, remembers fondly Just William, for it’s humour and adventures but was rather astonished to find them having been written by a woman! I should imagine many little boys did not believe that.

These were three very different authors. Andrew Martin looked rather uncomfortable, perhaps these types of events were not his ‘thing’? Being a journalist, perhaps he is used to asking the questions but not answering them. His has written a recent article on the debacle of the West Coast mainline franchise for The Guardian. I  am merely surmising. However he is a successful author and the Jim Stringer novels are very popular. I sense perhaps when you have written a book called How to Get Things Really Flat: A Man’s guide to Ironing, Dusting and other Household Arts, being on stage with two women and an audience made up of them he felt slightly out of his depth? I am merely surmising, but I could sense a sense of humour there somewhere.  I had heard of Andrew Martin and only read one of his novels the first in the Jim Stringer series and was not captured enough and have not revisited them. Perhaps I should try his new novel The Baghdad Railway Club, which he based on the landscape of Egypt because that is what he knows. Honesty knows no bounds with Martin.

Katherine Webb (her web footprint is very limited) was another author I have read and I was not sure about her book The Legacy as it took me a while to settle into her reading and because of that and the fact that I predicted some of the outcome I have not picked up another of her novels. However, I now have The Unseen (more about that later) to read so perhaps now I will have different view, having listened to her speak.

Erin Kelly, is an author I follow on twitter and we occasionally tweet. I have yet to read her novels, but they are now both (more about that later too!) on my shelf and I do want to read The Poison Tree as soon as I can because it has been adapted for the television  I might perhaps suggest it for one of my book club books in 2013. Her process of writing was fascinating, to very early mornings and even earlier as the ideas flow. But I think dedication to her cause has to be agreeing on a publisher whilst in labour with her first child. She is currently expecting her second and cannot wait to have the baby with perhaps less pressure.

As I mentioned I now have a copy of The Sick Rose (The Poison Tree I already have), a signed copy which Erin signed, but I did not fess up and say who I was (from twitter). I felt that as I had not actually read any of her books I was rather cheating the system, at that point I had not heard her talk as it was during the tea break! Daft I know. Especially as Erin was so personable as well.

And so a wonderful day comes to an end. Guy gave us the highlights in a very succinct manner it was worthy of the round of applause that we gave. I found it very interesting to listen to such a wide variety of authors, some known to me some new discoveries. To listen to others and their love of books, reading and in the physical and also to share it all in a very lovely venue. I will certainly be going again in 2013 and I cannot wait!

Back to the train station, laden down with the books I purchased (4) plus the goody bag and what a bag it was. Included was a copy of the newbooks magazine, which was actually missing from my bag but it did not matter as I already subscribe. 4 books for free to read! One of which I had read, but when you meet familiar faces at the station, all who have goody bags like you  it invariably falls to the question – “what did you get”? So I swapped one of my books for one I had not read! Great!

And so as the train pulls into the station, it has been a great day. A packed one and so lovely to share something so solitary such as reading. I look forward to next year and cannot wait to see who comes along.

Thank you for staying with me through these posts, I hope you enjoyed reading them – but Authors in October is not going to end there either, another post to come!

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