Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the 2017 Festival?
April Hardy and Tamsyn Murray. We know each other a little but our paths mostly cross via social media. I’m really looking forward to getting to know them both better and to being fellow panel members with April on the 3rd of March at 16.30.
Which book has inspired you the most?
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. This was my first foray into reading what adults read, when I was nine. I watched the film with my dad and when he said he had the book I went and found it in his bookcase pretty much as the credits were rolling. I’ve read it countless times since. Although it deals with the bitterness of war it also contains an over-arcing love affair that made me think exactly what men and women will do for love. I own all of Nevil Shute’s books, even some that were published posthumously.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Shower! I’m a very organised person and I shower and dress, do a few morning chores then take a cup of tea to my computer to start on emails and social media. About an hour later I get another cuppa and a bowl of porridge. My study always smells of porridge. I have an empty porridge bowl and empty mug beside me as I type this!
What is your life’s motto?
If you want it, make it happen.
Our theme for the 2017 Festival is Journeys. Can you tell us which journeys in your life have been most memorable?
My brother and his family used to live in Japan and I visited them in their home in Tokyo. When it was my turn to plan a day’s activities I chose a tour based in transport. We took an underground train, then a coach to Mount Hakone. We went up in a cable car (or funicular railway – I can’t quite remember) then sailed in a boat across the lake in the crater of this now-inactive volcano. I remember that part of the journey particularly because we moved into dense fog but the recorded commentary still played. As it said, ‘On your left you will see …’ or ‘On your right you will see …’ we all obediently turned in the required direction, even though all we could see was a wall of white! After another coach ride we rushed back to Tokyo on the Shinkansen (bullet train) and finished up on the underground train once more.