Thursday, October 08, 2009

"David Whitley At Chester Cathedral"

David Whitley is a bright and engaging Cestrian. He has a generous smile, a shock of titian coloured hair and he's passionate about his writing. We'll hear much of David in future. Of this I'm sure.
LitFest welcomes writers/celebrities from many places. But it's very special to welcome someone born and schooled.... and STILL living in, and writing in Chester. David is just such a writer. And on Tuesday, he talked with us about his much-lauded children's novel " The Midnight Charter".
We met in the Cathedral Chapter House. This was a perfect place to learn about David's enigmatic book. The evening outside darkened as lights within the cathedral flickered against stained glass and thick sandstone walls, and we sat enjoying the magic of such a place.
David was born in1984. He attended King's School, then Oxford, gaining a Double 1st. In 2005, he appeared in the winning Corpus Christie team on University Challenge. Folk, he says, STILL accost him in the street offering Starters for 10!
At 17, David was shortlisted for a Kathleen Fidler Award and at 20, won Cheshire Prize for Literature, for a children's story. He took a Gap Year after Uni, to write fulltime. BUT Fate guise of a literary agent called Charlie Viney...and David's plans were suddenly changed.

IT HAPPENED FAST! In a flash, rights to " The Midnight Charter" were simultaneously auctioned worldwide. Puffin secured UK/Commonwealth rights and the book was published in 20 countries, 5 continents and translated into 13 languages.

David's work is gripping, beautifully written and immaculately planned. It's also a learning experience but best of all, it's highly enjoyable... He's created the city state of Agora, where ANYTHING ( be it goods, people, thoughts, EVEN emotions) can be bought and sold. And the book opens when this incredible city reaches its Golden Age, when secret prophecies of The Midnight Charter are about to be revealed...
Clive James says: " The Art of the writer is to turn a phrase till it catches the light"
David does this. " The Midnight Charter" catches the light superbly...


Blogger elizabethm said...

Sounds fabulous. I shall have to track it down.

9:11 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

IT's great using venues with character, really enhances the event/performance etc.

1:13 pm  

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