Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Mr Morpurgo Comes To The Festival"



Last year, writer Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare spent 3 glamorous months living at London's Savoy Hotel.
Imagine doing that: I can...

Morpurgo was " Writer in Residence" at the Savoy and as the Morpurgos usually live on a farm in Devon, this must have been rather a treat.
But listening to him this week at Chester Lit Fest (www.chesterfestivals.co.uk/literature ) and realising how creative and energetic this man is, I strongly suspect Mr Morpurgo ( while lolling in lap of luxury, of course) ALSO spent his time there very usefully...

For one thing: the idea for his new book " Kaspar, Prince of Cats" ( Harper Collins, 2008) was created at the Savoy.
The book began life while the Morpurgos ate in the Savoy diningroom; this is a lavish place, not unlike the splendid dining salon on the Titanic.
In the Savoy, there's also a statue of a black cat; he's called Kaspar and his purpose in life is to make up numbers to a safe 14, whenever 13 folk gather scarily around a table...
And in Mr Morpurgo's story: "Kaspar" becomes the only cat to survive the Titanic disaster . It's a story seeped in history which is clearly a favourite theme. It features a Countess, a Bellboy, and a voyage on the world's most famed ship.
And if the book-buying queue at Thursdays's Festival is anything to go by, it's making waves with children of Chester..

This was a superb session. Michael Morpurgo has published well over 100 books and he inspired his big audience ( many under 12, although lots older) with his thoughts on both reading and writing.
He never patronised; he encouraged, he delighted.
Mr Morpurgo was the most welcome of visitors.

PS: Having a couple of weeks break from Blog; there's other writing stuff I need to get stuck into ( hmm: very elegantly put) ....BUT although blogging's fun, Blog 's got sharp teeth and Blog's VERY clever at nibbling away one's time...
See you soon.

13 Comments:

Blogger Catherine said...

Sounds like you had a great time at the literary festival

9:47 am  
Blogger kissa said...

I too have met Mr. Morpurgo and I think his children's books are superb. His latest Alone on the wide wide sea sounds another cracker can't wait to read it.

3:54 pm  
Blogger Jon M said...

Curses, events have been conspiring against me. Who said children should have a social life?!!! I'll actually get to one of these do's eventually!

6:11 pm  
Blogger Marianne said...

Don't stay away too long, Jan. Of course you are right about blogging. It does eat time.

1:58 pm  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I love the way stories come to people!
And ah yes, I know all too well about that nibblesome blog beastie...
Good luck with your writing projects!

8:17 am  
Blogger Mickmouse said...

Love Michael Morpurgo, writes volumes of books, but they are good. I have seen Kasper advertised and thought of it for my son. Sounds like you had a great time
Michelle

11:49 pm  
Blogger Mickmouse said...

Also have passed on a blog award for you Jan. Go to my blog to copy and paste along with the meme. Look forward to reading your answers.
Michelle
x

7:55 pm  
Blogger Bee said...

I had never heard of Morpurgo in Texas, but of course his books are all over the place in the UK! This one sounds really good, and I know at least one 10 year old who would like it.

Thanks for the lovely details of how the story germinated in the author's mind.

And I hope you have a productive blogging break!

11:02 pm  
Blogger elizabethm said...

I am running around with work in the headless chicken way and have so far utterly failed to get to the lit fest. this one sounds such a good event. I love his books and my children were keen too.

4:06 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Hello Everyone:
I've just had a look at all your messages.
Thankyou very much!
Shall be back ASAP.

2:19 pm  
Blogger The Dotterel said...

My daughter is a huge fan of Michael Morpurgo, and has just bought a boxed set of his books. She'll love this insight - thanks!

6:08 pm  
Anonymous marly said...

Ah, I want to go to Chester and be festive with Mr. Morpurgo. What a great name! What jollity all around.

100 books: that's rather a stack.

Here it is a snow day and no festival, alas.

5:01 pm  
Blogger sexy said...

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6:35 am  

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