I love living in London. I get to meet heaps of authors that I would never ever get to meet back home (or maybe I could, but only once in a blue moon, and only if that blue moon happens in my lifetime). Here they actually live around the corners and probably travel to the venues on foot. It’s fantastic.
I saw Terry Pratchett in National History Museum night time event just last week, with a selection of panels (mostly British comedians) talking about what things they would like to steal from the museum if people had their own Museum of Natural Curiosity, and why. People chose things like trilobite fossil, space dust, fake stuffed Dodo bird (the original – the only one in the world – was burnt by Prince Albert because it was too big or some stupid reason like that), fake flies in rocks (which was very famous in its time before it was discovered that it was a fake). Sir Terry chose the statue of Darwin – which the panels concluded at the end that the reason must be because they look alike.
The whole atmosphere of night at the museum thing was fantastic. There’s a huge T-rex skeleton stands imposingly in the middle of the hall, its tail just ends above my head. And I love the whole theme running through the Natural History museum treasures.
I’m not a big fan of Terry Pratchett to be honest. I’ve just read one of his books and didn’t think high of it, but I’m willing to give Discworld series another try. But since he’s getting very old, plus the coming Alzheimer, I just wanted to see him in person, before it’s too late. (And he did look very very old! – appearing in his high hat trademark.)
The night with Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife) and Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) was held at Prince Albert Cinema in London Chinatown on Halloween’s night. Unfortunately Erin was stuck in the US because of Sandy, so she attended as a giant cinema screen.
The Time Traveler’s Wife was one of the first English novels I read and I completely loved it, so I was so glad to be able to see Audrey in person. She exudes this gothic-y, gloomy, dark-y feel. Her humor was dry, she didn’t smile a lot (or smiled in that half-smile Mona Lisa way), and looked mysterious in her red hair and red shoes.
Erin talked about how she started The Night Circus during Nanowrimo (though really finished it 5 years later) and about how it’s not fair that only all the British children go to Narnia, so she wanted to make her own magical world. Audrey talked about how she used to think that England is like a magical land in story books, continued with her experience of arriving in London the first time (I can totally relate with that). She now shares her time between here and the US. She especially has particular fascination with Highgate Cemetery and that’s where her second book Her Fearful Symmetry stemmed from. To this day she still volunteers her time to be the cemetery guide once in a while! (I have planned to visit Highgate Cemetery sometime soon. How wonderful it’d be if I were to see her as my guide!)
There are more authors, so stay tune for the second part of Author in the Flesh!