No, not that one! – though there might be some connection between the TV programme my children used to love, and this weekend’s event at Jury’s Hotel in Swindon.
I drove down yesterday morning in welcome sunshine and managed to follow the directions I was given, supplemented by the time I spent on Google Maps trying to make sure if I did happen to find my way through this unfamiliar town to something called The Magic Roundabout , I wouldn’t spend the rest of the day circling round and round, trying to decide which exit to take.
I admit, it’s a very tenuous link, but this photo of the piles of random books at the Bookcrossing Unconvention evokes the constant movement of books as they themselves go round and round, from place to place and hand to hand. If you haven’t yet discovered the amazing world of Bookcrossers, >click here!
My invitation to attend the Unconvention as one of the author-speakers happened in a roundabout way. It started with my Cover Design Challenge.(Here’s the final one of 6 posts in this category) Each of the 150 entrants received an email acknowledgement from me, often with a comment about their choice of cover. I discovered that one of these came from Holland, a country which I feel an affinity with, as I am one-eighth Dutch myself.
When I found that Isabella was a Bookcrosser and was organising the international Convention in Amsterdam this year, I sent her a copy of Paper Lanterns, hoping that it would then be sent out on a journey to other Bookcrossers.
That wasn’t the end of it. I was delighted to get an email from Isabella, asking if I would consider giving an author talk. As a Bookcrosser myself, I receive the on-line newsletter and was aware of the event, but I certainly wouldn’t have put myself forward, so it was really nice to be invited.(Although I’m not (yet) an active member, I do have a Bookcrosser name: Paraglider)
Bookcrossers are friendly and welcoming people, and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces. I was also pleased to see my fellow ex-Transita author, Adrienne Dines, though it was a pity that I arrived too late to hear her speech – as well as being a superb writer,she also has a well-deserved reputation as a highly entertaining speaker.
On the subject of entertaining speakers, an extra bonus of that event for me was the author-talk by Jasper Fforde, which was made even livelier by the presence in the audience of so many enthusiastic readers of his novels. I really liked the way he explained his approach to writing – deliberate subversion of the expected, and his preference for ‘the path less taken’.
There was no photo of Jasper on his website, but though I found this one via Google, I have to say it doesn’t do him justice. From the what he has said about his books, I guess he’d happy to be represented by this dodo on a scooter from the cover of ‘The Eyre Affair’, the first of a series featuring Thursday Next.
I’ll take his advice and not try to describe what it’s about, and just say, ‘Read it.’
It was a shame that he hadn’t bought any copes of his books, as I’d definitely been tempted to buy one on the spot.
Come to think of it – a Dodo on a scooter wouldn’t have looked out of place on the original Magic Roundabout.