I’ve just returned from Australia – from the roastingly-hot Adelaide Writers’ Week. It’s rather wonderful because it’s free, and so vast audiences gather to swelter under two great tents to listen to writers speak about their work. 1,500 people listened to me, but I suspect they’d really arrived to bag a seat for Germaine Greer, who was on next. But who cares? They laughed at my jokes and that’s enough for me.
And when I got home I discovered, through a miasma of jet-lag, that “In The Dark” has been longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. That perked me up no end. In the past I’ve had mixed emotions about this prize, feeling that women writers are the least-discriminated people on earth, but for some strange reason I’m all for it now…
“The Diary of Anne Frank” is now finished, and due to be broadcast on BBC1 hopefully at the end of spring, or else in September. We had the cast and crew screening and Anne’s cousin Buddy Elias flew over from Basle to join us. At the end he stood up and said it was the best film about Anne he had ever seen, and embraced Ellie Kendrick, who plays this young girl whose life stopped at fifteen. Not surprisingly, it was quite an emotional evening.
Working on the diary has rather overwhelmed everything else. I’m in the middle of writing a film script provisionally titled “Romeo versus Juliet”, inspired by the stage play by Robert Nathan – a comedy about Romeo and Juliet seven years on – they’ve faked their deaths and run away together but now their marriage is on the rocks. And there are some other projects brewing. Meanwhile do email me if you fancy, at email@example.com. Oh, and I’ll be appearing at Stanmore library on 27 March for the Get Britain Reading campaign, at the London Book Fair for breakfast, on behalf of PEN, on 14 April, at the Scarborough Literary Festival on 19 April and at Winchester on 30 April…Have a great spring.