Counting down to Greenbelt

Heaven knows what fit of hubris inspired me to volunteer as a speaker at the Greenbelt Festival. As the date draws nearer I’m wondering not only what to say, but also whether anyone will want to come near enough to hear it. By 4.30 on Monday 29 August I will have spent five days camping in a field with a cold tap, portaloos and showers which have been described as  ‘Like trying to wash under somebody crying.’  Anyone bold enough to turn up may well suspect that I sent someone else to pose for the Author Photograph.

Still, the research for ‘Getting away with Murder – The Lure of Crime Fiction’  was a good excuse to get round to reading ‘The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher,’  Kate Summerscale’s fascinating look at Victorian crime investigation and the  fiction  that arose from it. It really is as good as everyone says.

Greenbelt’s headline literature speaker this year will be Stella Duffy, talking about ‘Theodora – Empress, Actress, Whore’.  I started reading it last night and had that feeling of anticipation and delight that you get when you know you are stepping into the world of a writer who really knows what they’re doing.

6 thoughts on “Counting down to Greenbelt

  1. Break a leg, Ruth! You’ll knock ’em dead, and I refer to your talk, not the lack of showers! Yes, the Whicher book is fascinating. If I ever seriously desert Roman Britain, the Victorian era would be a very tempting period to write mysteries about, except that so many brilliant people have already done it…or is that perhaps an advantage, in that you’d have a very interested readership waiting to snap up your book? Oh well, I’ll stick with Britannia for now, I think.

    1. Thanks, Jane! I’ve been doing some Victoriana research for a display on the history of the local library, and it is indeed fascinating – partly I suppose because I can remember relatives who were born in those times, but largely because some of it seems so relevant to today. The arguments raging about the funding (or not) of public libraries from 1850 onwards sound extremely familiar! In fact I feel a blog post coming on, but it’ll have to wait until after Greenbelt now.

  2. Hi Ruth,
    I am going to be introducing the ‘Tea with Authors’ slot at Greenbelt on Saturday afternoon. I had forgotten all about it until ten minutes ago (I’ve been frantically prepping for my reading on Sunday), and so I thought I had better look up the authors in the title. Your bio doesn’t tell me much, except that you live in Milton Keynes, which is where I live! Anyway, I am looking forward to meeting you at the weekend (I will be smelly too!) and will try to get hold of at least one of your books in the meantime!

    With all good wishes for a great festival,
    Deborah Fielding

    1. Hi Deborah,
      Good to hear from you! I’ll look forward to meeting you in Cheltenham – meanwhile I’ll drop you an email.
      Best wishes,

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