I haven't been to an Essex Book Festival event for a few years, not for any other reason than I kept missing the time of year to look it up, so my own fault. But having been on the writing scene again by starting this blog, and having frequent thoughts about the days when I will have time to sit and dedicate to giving my own book a go, the idea of going to listen to some well known and established authors seemed somewhat appealing yet again.
Having looked up the new shiny website, I was truly amazed as to the calibre of authors that are on the tour this year and I had a hard time picking who to purchase tickets for. In the end my mum and I plumped for one each. Last night we attend my mum's choice; Alexander McCall Smith (of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency notoriety).
I have to admit, other than The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency novels, which again I have to admit I was only familiar with because of the TV series (that for a third time I have to admit, I have never watched) and my mum saying how brilliant the books are I was unfamiliar with Alexander McCall Smith, and my goodness what I have missed.
The man is a literary machine! He produces four to fives novels per year on several different series (e.g. The Detective Agency; 44 Scotland Street; Corduroy Mansions; A Novel by Isabel Dalhousie) and is self confessed to being blessed in that he is a fast writer (quoted last night in response to a question 'About a 1000 words per hour' (jaw - drop - floor).
But over and above everything was his sense of humour. He spent two hours keeping an audience completely engaged without a script or even a note card - his years as a University Professor obviously came into their own! I was worried that with a man with almost 100 books to his name would be very serious and intense but he was a hoot!
So now I have a new author to which I am in awe, and an evening of laughter that will stay with me for many years to come. I have a new inspiration and now almost 100 books to catch up on... Jodi Picoult you have a tough act to follow, but I can't wait for that evening either.