Mary Ann has Lunch with Lina LitFest


Hi, I’m Lina LitFest, the new mascot for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favourite literature festival, look no further!

Lina-LitFest-English-1-e1448284692857Lina: What exactly does a Festival Administrator do?

I’m responsible for the authors’ travel arrangements so, for organising their air-tickets, hotel reservations and preferred meals – all the logistics! Basically I’m everybody’s PA! For the authors, I mean.

I also work closely with the programming team that is monitoring suggested sessions that either Madam (Isobel) or Miss Yvette send to authors and co-ordinate with Annabelle and Aedan who will do research on the type of events that we will put on.

Nearer the Festival I am also responsible for sending authors their individual itineraries, which consists of their main programme sessions and interviews, basically a schedule of what they will be doing each day of the Festival.

Lina: What’s a typical day for you?

Actually, a typical day involves updating my worksheets – my long spreadsheets! – As well as answering queries from authors, publishers, etc. and responding to any impromptu requests.

Lina: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at #EAFOL16?

John Torode MKOF (c) Yuki SugiuraThis year… Okay… Something food-related! I’m really into food! The cookery strand has always been what I’m most interested in – I did a course in Hotel and Restaurant Management when I was at college – so I’ll go with the cookery strand. I am fascinated by John Torode’s style of cooking. I love watching Master Chef Australia!

I also enjoyed seeing Bobby Chinn a few years ago who came to the Festival in both 2013 and ’14 and I’d love to see Paul Hollywood come one year. We’ve been trying to invite other cooking experts such as Mary Berry who almost came one year and Nigella Lawson but so far they’ve been too busy to be able to come. I’m just fond of food and cooking in general!

Lina: Tell me about your favourite book.

Anything by Paulo Coelho and Sydney Sheldon! We’ve been trying to ask Paulo Coelho for several years now but we’ve never had any luck. In general I’m into romance, thrillers and suspense.

Lina: If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?

It’s so hard! I haven’t thought of that! I don’t know… Do I have to answer?! I haven’t thought of who I’d be in a book so I can’t put myself into any character. I prefer books and programmes on cookery and baking.