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 ( ) 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.


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

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.

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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