Salisbury has had its first literary festival! Not that I would have known about it if friends hadn’t mentioned it. There was one event with someone who wrote a book we had read and discussed earlier – Joanna Cannon. Her book “The Trouble with Goats and Sheep” is one I have never been quite sure about. It is well written and a good book with some funny parts but I wasn’t sure that I liked it and I know that several other people felt the same. I suspect, for me, it is because it is not a “comfortable” book – but you might have to read it to see what I mean.
One of my friends got the tickets – Saturday at 12.00 in the Playhouse. We were to meet at 11.30 and I was on time, for once. The friend who got the tickets was there before me though and she said that the friend who had been the one who was most keen on the book wasn’t coming. The other person coming arrived about 11.45 so we went in and found seats.
I wasn’t at all sure about the whole thing, but Joanna was introduced and interviewed by one of the main people behind the festival and I did enjoy it. She spoke well, but a microphone might have been good – I was straining to hear at times. It turns out that she is actually a doctor – a psychiatrist, in fact. She wrote most of the book in lunch breaks and was, I think, amazed when it became a best seller! She is not practising as a doctor at the moment – too busy being an author. She says she likes to go into the psychiatric hospital to encourage creativity of all types, as a means towards healing. She started writing – a blog initially I think, as a means to relieve the stress of being a junior doctor in a hospital (not a psychiatric one, where she says she never feels stress!) Knowing she is a doctor explains why there is an acknowledgement in the book I have just read to: “Jo Cannon…. for answering all things medical”. It didn’t make sense before I went to the event.
There were other events at the festival, including one with Phillipa Gregory, but I haven’t been to those. Never read any Phillipa Gregory and not sure I intend to!
Would I go to another literary festival event? Yes, I think I would, so will have to look out for the next one in Salisbury.
Would I read another of Joanna Cannon’s books? She described a bit about her next book and read a bit and I think I will read it. It comes out in the spring, but I will wait until the library has it or it is in paperback. I think it again will not be a comfortable read and possibly might make me cry! The one after that she has an idea for might be the same……