Saturday, 20 July 2013

Jacqueline Wilson, Kate Humble and P.D. James

Good morning, a brief update about The Lichfield Festival which I attended last weekend. We, hubby and I, had tickets for three events: Jacqueline Wilson, Kate Humble and P.D. James – each were inspiring in their own way.

Jacqueline Wilson’s audience was filled, and I mean filled, with tiny young girls aged about eight. You could literally pick out the five adult males seated in the auditorium in a glance. Anyway, Jacqueline thrilled and delighted with a detailed account of her writing experience, answering numerous questions from the audience and delighting the adults with snippets from her life. I hadn’t realised just how many books she’d written, approx 93, and certainly wasn’t aware that she’d originally written for adults! Wow, what a successful transition. She explained how she promised her daughter never to use her as a character – a vow I’ve also adopted over the years. I’m sure there would be those that would be thrilled to be pen painted but the horrors if they didn’t approve don’t bare thinking about. I often pick habits, characteristics and sayings from those I know but never as the foundation for a character. Lordy, I’m not sure readers would ‘believe’ some of the characters I know. It was interesting to hear her refer to so many books over so many years – as an author you love your work but even now I have to check that I haven’t reused characters names, occupations – I’ve only written two and planned another three.

Kate Humble’s talk was focused upon her personal project turning a disused Welsh farm back into a working entity. I have to say, she came across as one of the nicest people in television; so relaxed, chatty and very funny. She started at the beginning explain how she got into telly, she herself admits it was a nice fluke, with delightful descriptions of ‘telly women’ dressed in Prada. I literally could have listened to her talk all evening about her travels to Afghanistan to film ‘shepherdess’ – along with the honour of being made an honorary daughter by the community. After a very quick hour, Kate signed books in the lobby and hubby, who is never shy at the best of times but always very funny, couldn’t resist thanking her for attending his birthday bash! Bless her, her face was a picture but immediately she joined his little joke saying ‘how could I refuse’. Lovely, lovely lady well worth seeing, only wished the session had been longer.

P.D. James – was the icing on the cake for me. At the ripe old age of 93 she entertained the audience with her lively wit and sharp mind. It was quite surreal to see a little white haired lady talking so passionately about murder! She surprised me with how sharp her memories were regards her plotlines and initial inspirations – when she’s written so many books. P.D. James recalled and shared several inspirations from her own personal life that had provided settings and backdrops for her plots. Again, I could have listened to her talk all night, but sadly it ended after one short hour.

I came away from each session feeling inspired and motivated – a great way to boost the flagging soul when your own project is nearing the end - and, a snip at the ticket price!

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