The Chipping Norton Literary Festival is a four-day literary event of which I managed to attend half a day. As my wife had only had surgery a few days earlier, it was all I felt I could sneak off for. But boy, what a half day I had!
It started with a coffee and browse in Jaffé and Neale, which turned out to be a great place to start, as Matt Haig walked in (literally) as I was holding his new book, Reasons to Stay Alive. In fact, I handed him the copy I was holding as he’d forgotten to bring a copy for his event. I quickly picked up another and grabbed a cheeky signature. Great start to the day!
The first event I was attending was Mark Billingham interviewing Lee Child, and I’m a huge fan of both these Brummie authors. So it was great to bump into them both before the event and get Lee to sign my hardback copy of the latest Jack Reacher novel, Personal.
The interview was very entertaining, and I loved the stories behind both Lee Child’s pen name and that of Jack Reacher. Tom Cruise was also discussed! I picked up another copy of Personal to get signed for a friend after the event and was nabbed by a photographer for the Oxford Mail who took a few photos of me and Lee. If they get published online, I’ll update this post with a copy, but in the meantime here’s Lee and me and Mark.
It seemed most people were there for Lee, which gave me a great opportunity to talk to Mark, who is normally mobbed at these kinds of events.
The next (and last) event I attended was Breaking Through, with three writers discussing their journeys to publication: Mel Sherratt, Mark Edwards and CL Taylor. I’ve known Mel and Mark for some time, but had never met Cally before. The event was chaired by Peter Gutteridge and was very interesting and informative.
It was great to chat to them all afterwards – and add to my haul of signed books acquired that day!