Monday, 2 March 2009

Northern Roots in a Southern Green Room

Mr B here, invading Sam 'The Uncommon' Reader's rightful blogging place, to report on desperate scenes from the Lit Fest Green Room on Sunday evening. Leaving Team B (in the lurch) to bench-press stacks of Gerald Scarfe's absolutely colossal books into happy customer's bags, I took a rare opportunity on Sunday evening to pop down to the Green Room - that happy refuge of incoming and outgoing authors, and of festival team members in various states of collapse after the successful negotiation of 25+ events in a single weekend.

I chose that moment hoping to catch top radio DJ, walking music encyclopedia and author of brilliantly named North/South divide classic, "Pies and Prejudice", Stuart Maconie supping a brew before his event. Armed with a mental list of my not inconsiderable Northern credentials (complete with Bradford wool-milling Grandfather, Reg) I sailed into the room only to find myself in a queue of other wannabe Northerners, headed by Bath Big Read author and Mr B's Emporium favourite (and, I'm proud to say, fan) Jonathan Coe. As Maconie enjoyed a glass of Stout (I'm lying, that would be too good, it was Merlot) I jockeyed for position with the Lit-Fest's superhero organiser-in-chief Zoe Steadman-Milne who, it turns out, was also keen to talk whippets with the great (although actually quite little) man.

But no, Zoe and I were soon united in disappointment though as it became clear that it was taking Coe so long to convince Maconie that he was even a tiny bit Northern that he was going to hog him right up until he was dragged away for his Southern softie soundcheck.

Never fear. I got my Northernness pitch in later on. That's the thing about being a bookseller. Authors can't run away from you when you're having them sign a whopping big pile of books.

Posted by 'Mr B'

No comments: