On the weekend of the 5th and 6th October, myself and my housemate went to Cheltenham Literature Festival. You won’t see much evidence of this, however, because I cleverly forgot my camera and to take any photos which is annoying because I wanted to share it all with you. But never mind, I am not despairing and that is because I own the only piece of evidence that I need: a signed copy of Patrick Ness’ new book More Than This.
I’m not ashamed to admit how big a fan I am of Patrick Ness. The Chaos Walking trilogy are three of my favourite books ever and I think one of the most engaging and thought-provoking series in the Young Adult genre. I’m sure one day I’ll do a post about the series, but I fear that it will be thousands of words of me gushing. So basically I love Patrick Ness, and naturally I jumped at the chance to attend a talk with him and coincidentally another American-born British-residing YA author: Meg Rosoff.
It was clear that the audience were there to see Patrick more than Meg, as made apparent by the volume of questions aimed towards him. He read the beginning of More Than This, chatted about who the audience he writes for is (N.B. – he made me feel better by explaining that he doesn’t write for teenagers, he writes for whoever will read it. I am not a teenager. I love him. Let’s move on), his own experiences with literature and afterwards I attended the book signing of said book.
Nervous and unashamedly fangirling, when I finally reached the front of the queue, all I could do was gush about whether it was normal to have the book dedicated to myself, or whether I should be getting it for someone else (I’ve never been to a book signing, I didn’t know what to do and I certainly didn’t play it cool.)
He subsequently signed my book in the best way I’ve ever seen.
Have I mentioned it before? FANGIRLING.
Anyway, enough about my love of Patrick Ness. Whilst at Cheltenham Literature Festival, I also attended talks by Sebastian Faulks about Birdsong, Emma Thompson about her new Peter Rabbit book and various authors discussing George Eliot’s Middlemarch. I’m glad I saw all of these talks; I think that I chose a good variety of genres and authors and didn’t overindulge myself in too much literariness. (It’s a very middle-class intellectual place, don’t you know?)
The whole atmosphere of the festival was great, made better by the lovely autumnal weather and copious amounts of coffee. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves book and wishes to be amongst their own kind. There are a huge variety and amount of events to get involved in – for all ages and genres.
For more information about this year’s and next year’s festival, head over here: http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature#
N.B. I am currently pulling myself out from under piles of German romantic plays, modernist texts and Anglo-Saxon biographies so please forgive my infrequent blogging. Third year sucks. I must try harder.