(first of all a very quick apology on the photo’s in this blog because they’ve gone a bit funny, i’ll sort them out when i can!)
Whereas the title may say Phillip Pullman was in conversation Neil Gaiman, it was in fact Meg Rosoff!
My dad and I had booked the tickets for this a while back, to hear Pullman talk with Gaiman on Phillip Pullman’s new book: Grimm Tales (an adaption on the brothers Grimm’s infamous collection of fairy tales). However, Phillip Pullman was unexpectedly replaced with other award winning author Meg Rosoff (author of How i live now and other various children’s books). This was because on coming out of a chat show north of London, Phillip Pullman fell and was taken ill. Luckily, it wasn’t anything as serious as first suggestions said, so Phillip is now recovering (I hope you get better soon!).
Going back to the evening at the theater, here’s a picture of the stage, surrounded by the Matilda setting (which was quite fitting as it was a lot of books suspended from the ceiling)!
The evening kicked off with a rather surprised Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time-Traveler’s Wife) who was asked to come up and read one of the Tales from the Grimm Tales book, which was meant to be read by Phillip Pullman himself. Audrey had actually come just to watch the event, so i bet she was surprised when she was asked to read in front of the massive audience!
Then Neil and Meg both began talking, referring to the story read, which had a moral to it as most fairy tales do. They talked about embedding the morals into fairy tales, and the origins of the Grimm Brother’s ones. Apparently, the Grimm tales, (the original one from many many years ago) , was actually intended for adult readers! They had been read to a children’s audience by the adults who brought the books, so each fairy tale soon became adapted and altered for suitability for children.
Also, the authors and the publicist on stage brought up some very interesting points, such as- Why isn’t Religion incorporated into any fairy tales? It was all really interesting!
Finishing off the talk, Neil Gaiman, after bringing the conversation onto spooky stories, scared us all with his new short story! I’ts called ‘Click-Clack the Rattlebag’ and you can get an audio copy right here-http://www.audible.co.uk/t1/GAIMAN_at?source_code=AUKDisc1Bk900SWS102512&bp_ua. (This download doesn’t cost anything at all, yet every download donates 50p to Booktrust!)
It was a great little tale, which was seriously spooky!
After that, those who wanted books signed (such as me of course!) stayed behind and waited a while to have Neil Gaiman’s signature in our books: I got my copy of ‘the graveyard book’ signed! Here’s a picture of me while i was next to get my book signed! Sadly, nobodies ‘Grimm Tales’ copies could be signed for obvious reasons, but Neil Gaiman had offered to sign anyone’s copies as a reminder of the event.
Overall, even with the saddening absence of Phillip Pullman, i really enjoyed the event!