hay festival

i've only been a couple of times and slightly dread it, largely because we've been going on holiday near hay-on-wye since before the festival began so, despite all the manifest economic benefits to the town, it always feel slightly invaded during the festival week. in the event it was wonderful. i had a large and enthusiastic audience for my event (incouding my 11 year-old son), a great interviewer (rosie goldsmith), a very warm atmosphere and such a long queue for signed copies of the red house that they ran out of copies and i wasn't able to buy one to give to someone as a gift, which is one of life's more uplifting problems. the green room was good, too (i have never enjoyed dispersed festivals like oxford or cheltenham with no centre of gravity and therefore no place for authors to socialise). it was a joy to meet nathan englander, andy stanton, hardeep singh kohli, lemn sissay and kay redfield jamison (a hero). it was less enjoyable watching her being 'interviewed' by stephen fry who, despite being funny and a good thing in various ways, is in increasing need of an off button. best of all was staying here, the location of which is going to remain a profound secret...