‘Twas a damp and misty Christchurch evening, supposedly Spring but feeling more like Winter, when a gathering of Christchurch people came to a WORD Christchurch event to hear celebrated columnist and author Joe Bennett talk about his new book – King Rich.
Despite nearly giving up partway through, Joe was persuaded by his publisher to continue the story that had begun – where else ? – at the pub.He’d written a column about the man living in the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hotel, since demolished, and the nub of the story had stayed lurking in the back of his mind. Was it an urban myth? Who knows? Does that matter?
It was fascinating to hear the process of how the column had grown into a novel. No, he hadn’t met any red zone dwellers, hadn’t felt the need too. No, the dog Friday was not a kindred spirit and could not have been a cat, but yes, the name was based on Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
“As the writer you are the puppeteer, but you’ve got to be invisible: to write yourself out it, which is very different from writing a column.”
“I’m a literary bastard,” he said, ” I read stuff and I want to be moved by it.”
“It’s a book about love, that’s the nub of where we live.”
- Put a hold on King Rich
- More of Joe Bennett’s books in our collection
- Joe’s website
- Joe Bennett’s columns in The Press
WORD Christchurch tweets from the event: