Some quotes from the author that made me laugh during the reading:
“I want to tell you about this book but I don’t want to tell you what it’s about”
“Even though I wrote this book, I’ve never read it”
“Writing a novel is like a bowel movement, it takes time for the material to process”
It has taken him sixteen years from his last – to write his new book, Midwinter Break.
The reason for the time difference is having eight grandchildren who live in the same postcode as him. They all come to his house and he and his wife feed them and care for them. Perfect Granda material right there. He’s also been working as a radio DJ on a classical station and his stories about presenting different symphonies were very funny.
This novel is about a man and wife who’ve been together for a very long time. He’s an alcoholic and she’s a devout catholic.
Bernard read an excerpt from the story whereby the couple were on holiday in a hotel and he went on a drunken wander. The chapter ended and the audience clapped and cheered for the man character – who to be quite frank, is a pain in the hole. No clapping for the wife who was putting up with all of his shit.
So I think Bernard was effective in making me think. We don’t always like the main characters in a story but it touched on my emotions, so that was a job well done.
He answered a few questions from the audience and at times he made himself laugh. I like people like that, if you can’t amuse yourself sure you’d be bored to death.
Asked about his early writing, he was self critical in saying he used to steal exercise books and write really awful poems in them.
I found him to be inspirational. He mentioned that he failed his English A-Level and WB Yeats failed in both English and Latin.
So it goes to show that to be a good writer – you don’t have to be perfect at grammar or spelling.
That’s me in line for a best seller then….
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