The wonderful time of year has returned where Charlotte Square Gardens is transformed into a tented haven filled with fellow book lovers.
This year I was by the gate before it opened on Saturday at 9.30am in time to see Patrick Ness discuss his latest book, The Crane Wife.
Although I’d seen him at Aye Write in April, I was joined by BookTube friends Jean and Katie and we decided to set the tone before a long day’s book shopping (and bookshop hopping) with two more.
The event took place in the Guardian Spiegeltent – a venue which I’ve mistaken for a café these past two years – with cabaret style seating and free teas and coffees provided.
Ness was as affable and charming as ever, providing a reading from the book’s first few pages and a familiar Q&A session surrounding his writing habits, style, and philosophies.
He outed writers who justify lack of plot as style as being shit at plot (probably true), and admonished the genre versus literary fiction cliques in which authors often partake. This in particular was interesting to hear from him alone, as the topic was touched upon briefly alongside Matt Haig in April – a writer who seems to align more with the genre camp.
He also gave encouragement to a couple of keen audience members, shaking off his early nerves with a couple of sharp anecdotes. I recorded the event in full, and you can download it over here.
After the event I went along to the festival book shop to have my copy of The Crash of Hennington signed. He said it’s a rare signed copy (he’d already signed The Crane Wife for me in Glasgow), adding that as a first novel he sees a lot of mistakes in it, things he’d do differently now, but on the whole he thought it holds up. (I tend to agree – review coming soon!)
Stay tuned for round-ups of the other events I’ll be taking in at EIBF 2013, including Nate Silver and Margaret Atwood, as well as my forthcoming review of Patrick Ness’ upcoming novel, More Than This.
Related posts: Patrick Ness & Matt Haig at Aye Write, John Green at Edinburgh International Book Festival