In the company of genius...
I wanted to go because Ian McEwan won the Fiction prize for Saturday which I read not so long ago and was blown away by it (Sue Prideaux won the Biography prize for Edvard Munch: Behind The Scream). Saturday is one of the best books I've read in a long time and while it's always interesting seeing an author you like in person, sometimes you can be a bit disappointed that they're not as witty, erudite or good looking as you had pictured them to be (I'm joking about the last bit by the way).
Ian McEwan was not disappointing at all. He has a towering intellect and it was kind of awesome hearing him speak about a book I'd enjoyed SO much - seriously, if you've not read it, YOU SHOULD. Hearing McEwan's perspective on why he'd chosen to write that particular story, and his experiences while researching and writing it made me remember how much I enjoyed it and want to re-read it! It's always good hearing about the methodology of an author I like. I try to store these tips in my brain for when I sit down to write my own bestselling novel (which will be when hell gets a bit chilly).
I also got a surprise because Ian Rankin was presenting the awards, and then chairing a question and answer session with the two winning authors. As I'm an Edinburgh lass born and bred I'm quite ashamed to say that I've never read any of the Rebus books (for some reason I don't fancy them but once I read one, I'll probably end up having to buy em all!) but I try to follow Rankin's career and if I could ever be half as successful as him I would be delighted. He was a good host, very funny with no airs and graces and he managed to tease out some interesting questions, despite the reluctance of the audience. My sister is a fan of his, and was decidedly jealous that I had spent an hour in the same room as him. Admittedly it was quite a big room.
So I was a bit bedazzled by the company I was in - I fluctuated between feeling like a bit of an intellectual, and a bit of a fraud.
But then we went for a chippy on the way home, and I was conveyed from the dizzy heights of academia back to my heritage - a greasy fish supper on a tray in front of Eastenders.