If any of you haven’t been to Hay, I’d urge you to give it a go. It’s in the most sensational countryside and the whole town is buzzing – I’ll always remember seeing Maya Angelou sitting in the pub next to an elderly Welsh farmer.
I’m also doing an event there with Tracy Chevalier on 28 May about our two novels, Tulip Fever and Girl with a Pearl Earring, which should be fun. And talking of this, the movie of Tulip Fever is opening the new season of films at the Astor Arts Centre, Deal, on 20 May, where there’s drinks to start, and I’m doing a Q&A at the end.
Last month Christies auction house did a screening of the film, complete with spotlit reproductions of Dutch paintings and a classy cocktail bar. It was really rather magical, as I’d brought along the original painting that inspired the book, which I’d bought at Christies twenty years earlier (see the Books section, for a reproduction of the painting).
Then on 8 June I’m appearing at Stoke-on-Trent, with Celia Imrie, to talk about our books. This is an intriguing-sounding festival run by Emma Bridgewater, whose pottery is in Stoke. In fact the events take place in her factory. Google it (Festival in a Factory) to find out more. Celia is a hoot and a sport; at the premiere of Bext Exotic Marigold Hotel she was appearing at the Old Vic, but when the curtain came down she tore off her costume, stuck on a sari, jumped on the back of a motorbike and whizzed across London to the party – in freezing mid-winter too. We like that sort of thing.
I’m doing a lot more events in July, including Ways With Words, one of my favourites, but I’ll post info about them later. Meanwhile Red magazine, Good Housekeeping, The Times, The Daily Mail and hopefully some more newspapers are doing interviews or running articles connected to The Carer. My official Facebook page will also keep you up to date.
And in June Daunt Books are publishing At The Pond. This is a collection of essays by various writers, including me, about the Ladies Pond on Hampstead Heath – one of the most glorious places on earth. If you’ve never been, just go. You swim amongst the ducks, the weeds brushing your legs, and sometimes see a kingfisher. In this dire time, it washes away all the ugliness and confusion and restores ones sanity.
Remember – do email me if you fancy at firstname.lastname@example.org