Last week, Katie of Bookish Tendencies wrote a post about attending her first author talk (Lauren Fox talking about Days of Awe, so I’m jealous, obvs). Katie asked fellow bloggers for a few pointers on being “…not such an awkward dork…” at book signing time (her words, not mine). I don’t have any tips but her post did make me think about author talks I’ve been to. And it’s many. Because I’m a bit of an author-event tart (I’ll blame the fact that I have lots of opportunities through events such as the Melbourne Writers Festival and regular author appearances at my local book shop, Readings).
So purely for my own records, I’ve put together a top ten list – five of the best author talks I’ve been to –
1. Lionel Shriver – the insights she offers into her books are fascinating – jump at any opportunity to hear her speak.
2. Chad Harbach – so humble, so grateful. And funny.
3. Carrie Tiffany – I particularly love listening to Carrie read her own work.
4. Dave Eggers – inspirational (with not a trace of ego).
5. Sonya Hartnett – she tells you so much about herself and her work. I never published a post that I half-wrote about the last talk of hers that I attended (and what she said to me when I had my copy of Golden Boys signed) – I’m still processing it and I may publish it some day.
And five authors who I’d give my right arm to hear speak –
1. John Irving (you know how in the eighties people would camp out for a week to secure concert tickets? That would be me with John Irving).
2. Judy Blume (ditto the bit about concert tickets above).
3. Jill Alexander Essbaum – I really need to talk further about Hausfrau.
4. Favel Parrett – how does she sit down, say on an ordinary Monday morning, and write such lovely words? I want to know.
5. Leanne Shapton – talented in sooooo many ways.
Of course, this could have been a top one hundred list…