I flew back here yesterday and almost immediately had to go to a meeting of my book club, not the one I created, but one I was asked to join just a week ago.
The book under discussion was We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. This is a book that had sold over one million copies, been translated into just about every language you’ve ever heard of and is about to become a film starring Tilda Swinton.
There were two key differences between this meeting and most other book club meetings; one it was at a palace and two, the author was there. Lionel Shriver herself showed up and talked to us about her life, her books, the writing process and much more for over an hour. Amazing.
She seemed really nice; very expressive and fun, and clever (as you would expect). I was longing to ask her all kinds of detailed questions about writing, plotting, character and so forth. I remember being in such awe when I read ‘Kevin’ and thinking I will never be able to write a book like that. She did say she had the whole plot worked out before she began. I was still deciding the ending of my book when I wrote it.
London was great; I was on TV (The Vanessa Show, March 11th, if anyone can be bothered to do so, please upload it to Youtube so my poor deprived children can watch it, we can’t access it from here), lots of radio shows and today there was a gossip piece in the Independent on Sunday today. The book had sold out at Waterstone’s on the King’s Road the second day I was there which was very exciting. We will know latest sales figures tomorrow.
It was great to see everyone and London was sunny – which is probably even more unusual than a best-selling author showing up at your book club.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2011