Leaving on a jet plane..but back on Monday

Unlike Mr Richard I have no typo-issues with the word Festival/Festical or even Auckland, only Christcrutch gives me gyp, so I leave with a spring in my step and say brin git on….

Festival highlights hopefully for me will include not cocking up interviews with Monica Ali and Kirsty Gunn, so if any of you out there want sensible questions asked, rather than my own unique brand of random interrogation, then this may be your last chance.

I’ve also been reading some interesting articles by and about Karachi based Mohammed Hanif, author of  A case of exploding mangoes and am keen to hear about his writing, the political situation in Pakistan and his decision to relocate there after 12 years in London.

I’m leaving all the clever clogs science, economics and political authors to my clever clogs colleagues with one author exception, Richard Dawkins. Sadly we are not to be graced by Dawkins physical presence but are instead going to experience him “on the big screen”. Apparently this event is a first in New Zealand and I’ll be there to mock in an ignorant and offensive fashion if the technology stuffs up, huzzah!

With fourteen events and interviews I’m expecting to be even busier than …eh, Paris Hilton, so watch this space.

Okay, breathe deeply …

As a person who writes for a living, going to the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival is a dream assignment for me. There’s the chance for lots of interviews, catching up with legends like Bookman Beattie, and all the fun of the events themselves, and writing, writing all the time.

However, I have a gnawing fear – a fear born of tired fingers trying to go too fast. You see, I often mis-type festival as “festical”. I don’t know what a festical is, but I hope I don’t get kicked there anytime soon. I try to take a deep breath before I type the word, slow down and avoid the howler… but you never know.

The other reason I’m taking a deep breath is the scope of this year’s event. It’s billed as: Politics. Fiction. Economics. Science. Current Affairs. Find out what an Earth is going on. There are some compelling sessions, with authors who write a broad range material – from detailed comment and analysis, to short stories and poetry.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Stefan Aust. He’s a former editor of Der Spiegel, who’s spent most of his working life covering the world of espionage and terrorism. His book, The Baader-Meinhof complex, has been hard to put down, and has recently been made into a movie.

New Yorker financial columnist and author James Surowiecki and Australian author Christos Tsiolkas also look like intersting fare, and Richard Dawkins will no doubt stir the grey matter up. Then there’s all the fantastic Kiwi writers …

What a line-up – this festival is going to be very memorable! Please send your comments and questions in as we go – we’d love to hear from you. And on that note, what’s your favourite howler typo?