Saturday, 25 September 2010

Aspects 2

Thursday's event at Aspects Literature Festival in Bangor was a laugh - inevitable with Geoff Hill doing the interviewing - and the organisers were pleased. Geoff and I met for coffee beforehand and went over the format, which we agreed as a) a few introductory remarks, b) some dumb questions (his words) from him, c) some slides from me and d) some intelligent questions from the audience. Should there be one of course.

Halfway through Geoff's very generous introduction I interrupted him to complain that it wasn't generous enough; that we had agreed he would say, 'Clearly, Michael is the best writer to emerge from Ireland in a generation', and I would reply, 'Heavens, Geoffrey, surely that accolade belongs to you..', and from then on we managed to maintain a fairly light tone, occasionally lapsing into seriousness but always falling effortlessly short of erudition. If over-running is any indication of whether the audience enjoyed it, they had a ball because a billed slot of 1.15 to 2.30pm became an actual one of 1.15 to 3.30pm

Afterwards I did some signing, and as usual there were a few of the kinds of comment which make these events so rewarding, plus, a little spookily, one from a woman who shook my hand when she got to the front of the queue and said simply, 'I'll wave to you on Saturday'; passing on before I had a chance to fish for some illumination without admitting I didn't recognise her.

Had time permitted, Geoff was going to give me a spin in his microlite from Newtownards afterwards - before leaving the island I even primed Lynn to wait for my call and stand by with her camera on the foreshore - but that treat will have to be another day.
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