Philip and Joyce have just emerged from the session with Paul Cleave, Mark Billingham and Vanda Symon. They look in fine spirits so I thought I would take the time to ask them a few questions.
So, hello there. You two are back together again for yet another festival , how does this compare with Auckland?
Philip: much much smaller and not quite the oomph of Auckland
Joyce: but it’s early days….
So how did you find your first session?
Philip: Quite interesting. A constrained quality, partly because it was recorded for the radio.
Joyce: A lot of people look like they are popping in for their lunch break, which makes it feel slightly disjointed.
Philip: An extremely small turnout, especially seeing as I turned up to the wrong session and couldn’t find Joyce, but when they started saying something about poets I got out of there very very quickly.
Joyce: There was the strident lady in the audience booming out in a sergeant major voice…
Philip: Sort of like she was in the deli of the Merivale supermarket
Joyce: “The mike isn’t on” there’s always one.
Who stood out for you?
Joyce: if I was a crime writer I’d refuse to share the stage with Mark Billingham. He has a rugged charm, he’s very funny, and a practiced speaker.
Philip: He can work the audience well. He refered to a magazine article where women between the ages of 20 and 50 said they prefer crime fiction to food, shopping and sex. He also said …
that people complained more about the bad language in his books rather than the graphic violence.
Joyce: Oh how I chuckled when he said that by being a crime novelist he was able to engage with women longer than your average shag, and that most men were nothing but a short story.
Well what about the others then?
Joyce: I thought Vanda Symon sounded much like the character in her books, warm, intelligent, engaging and enthusiastic.
And Paul Cleave?
(At this point we have a couple of women joining in the discussion, rather nice actually, and what festivals like this are all about. I hope they read the blog!)
Paul Cleave then?
Joyce: I thought he was very funny. Ursula Cheer – the chair, talked about his latest novel being very dark, gothic, noirish, and that when she read it she could see it like a movie in black and white. As he pointed out by holding up the book- it is black and white!
Philip: he sort of lost me when he went on about ChCh being very dark and violent, well maybe it is in places, but certianly not in walking distance of the Merivale Mall!
Joyce: Au contraire, in my hood the flick knives glint in the moonlight… having the read The Cleaner, I do recognise the darkness in chch that he talks about, he talks about the strip, the boy racers…
Philip: there is a huge difference between boyracers and murderers though?
At this point we ran out of time and into the next session, It’s not about me – or is it? I’m sure Joyce and Philip will have plenty to say about this later.