Maybe I just haven’t attended enough literary festivals and this is actually how it rolls, but I was a little taken aback by some of the questions the authors got during their session. At Sebastian Faulks’ after-interview question time, a self-proclaimed fan of his earlier books who ‘adores’ him proceeded to ask the now cliche equivalent of Lord Sugar’s ‘why shouldn’t I fire you’ – ‘Why should I finish this book? I’m thirty pages from the end and I’m struggling,’ she said. Faulks looked as surprised as I was and then told the woman that he wouldn’t beg her. Then he almost begged her as he set off explaining how great the book is.
|My Hay Festival Highlighs – Sebastian Faulks and the demanding fan|
Poor Faulks was a little unlucky with his questions, to be fair. His first one was a very old man with a strong Welsh accent who started a lecture on World War I poets and eventually had to be stopped when Gaby Wood realised that he was not planning to ask a question at all. I dread to think what I would have done in this situation and this will probably become a recurring nightmare for me now but Faulks handled it very well.
He responded with his own mini-lecture on the poets, and since the old man was not allowed the microphone any more, Faulks won.