Monday, 23 November 2015

Matt Haig - author event

by Maryom

Christmas came early to Nottingham last Friday - out in Market Square the festive lights were switched on, and on the top floor of Waterstones Nottingham, Matt Haig arrived as one of the many stages of his "Sleigh Bell Dash" tour to promote his latest book, A Boy Called Christmas. It was actually his third event of the day, the first two events were in schools and had included Chris Mould, the illustrator, with one of those events being in front of 300 children. Matt seemed to be finding it a long day and he had yet to catch his train back to London - so don't think it's an easy life for authors on their tours.

The book is effectively part of Father Christmas's 'backstory' - sparked when Matt's son asked what Father Christmas was like as a boy.

Nikolas's father goes away leaving him with his evil aunt Carlotta. Carlotta is not a nice person and doesn't have a nice word to say about Nikolas's father and eventually drives Nikolas to set out to find his father.

Being a children's book it has all those things you associate with Christmas .... reindeer, elves, pixies, and exploding troll heads.... and is also written with humour. The Mole finds many children's books a bit corny on the laughs front but the readings that Matt gave had him smiling with genuine amusement. And those readings... he offered the younger members of the audience choices and went along with their selection. Happily the audience chose exploding troll heads.

Matt Haig is nothing if not versatile as an author having written books for children and books for adults- some to make you laugh others of a totally serious nature and a lot that fall in between somewhere such as The Humans.  I discovered him many years ago in a holiday cottage which had a copy of The Last Family in England - a dog's-eye view of a family falling apart. My favourite is probably The Radleys the story of abstaining vampires living 'undercover' in an English suburb.

A signing followed - with the audience buying copies for themselves and what appeared to be Christmas presents for young friends and relations - while working his way through signing a stack for the store, he said he'd once signed a thousand in an hour!

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