Monday 25 November 2013

I Met Bill Bryson

On 21st November I was lucky enough to attend the Chorleywood Bookshop's literary festival. the final event of the festival was an evening with Bill Bryson. I was very excited about this having read most of what he's written and thoroughly enjoying his latest offering, One Summer: America 1927. I found myself a route and headed in the direction of Rickmasnworth for an exciting evening with one of my favourite authors!

When we arrived there we crowds of people, he is a very popular man but we managed to snag a seat not too far from the front. Bill was introduced and came over to the microphone to address the massive crowd. Not only did he read a couple of extracts from his book, he showed us pictures and had us in absolute stitches with his jokes and anecdotes-the man knows how to work a crowd! 

There was then a question and answer sessions where he talked about his writing process and his loved of the English countryside as well as dropping hints as to what his next book might be. One of my highlights of the evening was when he told us that his favourite place to walk in the UK was the Yorkshire dales, that's it's a beautiful place and Yorkshire people are the best around (which of course I heartily agree with!) 

When speaking about his writing process,he said that for writing his own memoirs, he went back to his hometown library and looked through old newspapers and magazines, looked at the TV schedules from when he was a child, the film and music listings and that is how he remembered things from his past. He also said that a lot of time and research went into writing his latest novel, which was evident from the book itself! Finally, he said that the anecdotes and stories in his book which are funny are ever so slightly exaggerated for comic effect and that, of course, he changes all the names in his book if they are based on real people! 

One of the most exciting things was that he said, his next book will probably be a follow up to notes from a small island. He said the UK has changed so much over the past 20 years and so he feels he needs to update his notes, I am very excited about this and his complete notes is one of my favourite all time books! 

Finally he was kind enough to tackle the huge line of us waiting to have my books signed, I got my copy of his latest novel signed, and even had my picture taken with him! I very much enjoyed the evening, and feel so lucky to have met this amazing author. If you ever get chance to meet him you really should because he is so lovely and polite, and if you see him in the street, go and say hi to him, because he combined that nobody ever recognises him!  

If you want to see my review of his latest novel, just check back in the side bar. 

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