When I was writing my books of the year post, I was in two minds on how to do it – it ended up being one long stream of consciousness I feel and wanted to mention so many books and authors that it was perhaps going to get a bit out of hand. How do I mention the books when in some cases I have met the authors as well. In fact 2012 was the year I met a few authors and so I thought well why not write a post on just the authors in 2012 that have had the pleasure of meeting me. (oh how egotistical!)
We start back in February/March time when I happened to notice that a local author James Darcy would be in my local Waterstones. I was intrigued, I had read the sample (on my Kindle) of his debut novel Last Known Address and in the spirit of one of the many acknowledgements of achievement or moments in history that 2012 gave us it was based on the ill-fated ship The Titanic. How lovely to buy the actual book and get it signed. Something to keep on the shelf for a long time.
Jump forward to April, and by chance I saw a notice regarding Alison Weir and her new novel A Dangerous Inheritance being advertised on a local email I get sent. As she has previously written Tudor fiction as well as non-fiction novels and being held in the Mary Rose Museum, shortly before it closed and was beginning to move to its new place within the Portsmouth Dockyard I thought it was a must to go and see her. Never having done anything like this before, I approached it with some trepidation. It was wonderful to listen to someone enthuse especially about a subject I have always enjoyed. It was this listening to Alison that led me to later read Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time as I immersed myself in all things Richard III.
April concluded with a Readers Day at Winchester with newbooks magazine (Their 2013 date is 22 June for anyone interested) where there were 3 authors for me to listen to, Veronica Henry, Katherine McMahon and R.J.Ellory. I had read books from the first two, but not Ellory. Three very different authors with differing subjects they write about and it was interesting to hear the process they go through when writing. It was somewhat disappointing, months later to learn about R.J.Ellory and the sock puppetry that came to light in the latter part of the year. It did tarnish it somewhat, as I had enjoyed reading Ghostheart which I got signed whilst there.
The Summer should be a time of beautiful weather and reading outside. So it was in July on a very wet Saturday afternoon and rather chilly that I motored along to the West Meon Festival and listened to three authors that I knew nothing about and whose books I had not read. Marika Cobbold, Tom Campbell and Vanessa Gebbie were the three that took to the front of the church, and spoke. It was a wonderful setting to listen to them all, in particular Marika Cobbold who was interesting and I very much enjoyed her latest novel Drowning Rose and who also shares a love for all things Wodehouse. It will be interesting to see who they have in 2013.
summer day, another wet summer day in fact in biblical proportions, a Wednesday afternoon on this occasion and two authors, Cath Staincliffe and S.J.Watson plus a lovely lady called Alison Barrow (Publicist for Transworld). I had thanks to Alison, already ready read Cath’s new novel Dead to Me so it was great to listen to her read from the first few pages of the novel. As a twitter follower of Cath’s as well it was great to talk books with like minded people. S.J.Watson was again really interesting to listen to and I was certainly captured by his book and I must get round to reading it this year.
In September I dithered over whether I was going to go and see Madeline Miller when she came to one of my local libraries. I was bit unsure if it was a cool way to spend a Friday night, and I had not read her book. How silly of me, because it was a great couple of hours, I got to meet some other like minded people who were also there and obviously got a signed copy of her book. I knew it was a coup her coming down to Portsmouth considering, she had won the Orange Prize for 2012 and also she was American of which I was completely ignorant and her subject matter was something that also interests me too!
Well as I got to October, I got rather greedy in the authors I saw as I spend a Saturday at the Guildford Book Festival Readers Day and saw Sadie Jones, Steve Mosby, Katherine McMahon (again) Clare Clark, Roma Tearne, Roopa Farooki, James Runcie, Erin Kelly, Katherine Webb and Andrew Martin. Obviously I did not get to talk to all of them personally but it was a wonderful way to spend a day and I wrote reams and reams about it on this blog back in October/November 2012.
As Book Festivals seem to be getting more and more popular which can only be a good thing so we can spread the word, my home city, Portsmouth holds it own too! There was plenty to choose from, but this time it was a Thursday evening of all girls (plus one very brave man dragged by his girlfriend no doubt) who descended on the main local library. Adele Parks, Emily Barr, Emylia Hall and Morgan McCarthy all spoke about their recent novels, what they like to read and how they cam to be doing what they are now doing. It was a packed audience, and I was also delighted to get my books signed as well. Emylia Hall even remembered my review as well, which was nice for me to be recognised and her I think?!
So from rather a girlie book love in to a crime one and the final two authors of the year; Ann Cleeves and Pauline Rowson. There were some experts of ‘crime’ there and it was very interesting to listen to the real and the fictional, my only slight let down was I felt Pauline Rowson was a bit too pushy for me. Though my dad has enjoyed reading the novel I bought and he really only reads autobiographies.
That is 26 authors and I was not even counting. There is something rather good about being able to meet the person who writes the novel. To know they are human and also learning about what they love to read, is a rather enriching experience. Although it does add more books to the ever growing list!
For 2013, look out for more of the same I hope and this time get photographic evidence of them being seen with me!