Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oh what fun we had - Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.

At least, Paula and I had fun; so did Dorothy. But I think the audience enjoyed it too, as reported by Christchurch City Libraries and Bookman Beattie. As for the question about being 'Team Bronte' or 'Team Austen', what I should have said (and only thought of it afterwards, as is usually the case with these things), is that despite Magpie Hall seeming to be an homage to all things Bronte, it also owes an awful lot to that wonderful Jane Austen novel Northanger Abbey. Not only did I name the book after the house in which it is set, Magpie Hall also features a young woman who is so immersed in the world of gothic novels they start to colour her vision of the real world around her. If you haven't read Northanger Abbey, please do.

It is a horrible misfortune that the one year I get a free pass to everything, I could only stay in Auckland for 24 hours, and I had a sick baby with me, so caught very little. Alison Wong and Graham Beattie had a lovely soothing chat to an appreciative crowd (with the prize for the most bizarre and possibly inane question I've heard at a festival: 'Is it customary for Chinese New Zealanders to refer to Europeans as "Pakeha"' - wtf?). And the highlight of the Saturday evening session with William Dalrymple was the kind lady who leaned over and asked me, probably because I was sitting alone near the front, if William Dalrymple was my husband.

From what I saw of it, I have to congratulate the team at the festival once again for another great one, and also for making their authors feel extremely well prepared and cared for, even with such outrageous demands as my own. Next time I have a book out there will be no more babies and I will go to every session and every party and wear lipstick and high heels every day.

7 comments:

Beaut Commute said...

I wish I could have been there with you Mrs Dalrymple

Rachel Fenton said...

Glad you had fun - if only briefly!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Yay, you're back in the blogosphere! Glad it was fun - it sounds great.

gardenia said...

You and Paula were wonderful. I adored Magpie Hall and am looking forward to reading the Sound of Butterflies. As Graham Beattie said you were the rock chics of the Festival!

lemon said...

I just finished the sound of butterflies. I read it in greek, in just 2 days: I could not leave it off my hands. I think this is one of the books that create a whole play in your mind and you always remember the places as if you have visited them, as if you have seen a whole film.

I found your blog while searching for more information about the book and the writer, so I caught the opportunity to say hallo and thank you for the nice time I had!

Rachael King said...

Thanks for your kind words everyone - and Lemon: welcome! Thanks for the great feedback - nice to hear from readers of another language.

rüya tabirleri said...

You and Paula were wonderful. I adored Magpie Hall and am looking forward to reading the Sound of Butterflies. As Graham Beattie said you were the rock chics of the Festival!