Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Melbourne Writers Festival, Day 3:

I'm sitting in the greenroom at the MWF. Outside the rain is falling so heavily that it's difficult to make out the other side of Flinders Street. The State Emergency Service was on the news just before I walked down here, pleading for commuters to leave work early and get out before the front came through. They're forecasting 120kph+ winds to hit the city at around about 6.00pm. Plus hail. Plus possible snow down to 500 meters

There's a mass exodus happening out there at the moment.

I have a panel session at the festival at 6.30.

In a venue that seats about 500.

Should be interesting.

Other than the fact that we seem to be warming up for the end of days out there at the moment, Today's been really good, if more than just a little hectic. Started with a radio interview at 0900 this morning, and haven't stopped since. (The interview was fun, even though my inner-arts lecturer reared his ugly head, and I accidently described my book as 'postmodern', which is never a good idea on local a.m. radio...)

1100 saw me and Scott Westerfeld talking about the way we plan and use setting in our writing. This seems to be something of a hot topic at the moment, as I seem to find myself discussing it all over the place. He had cool illustrations from his next book (Called Leviathan, out October) and photos of the Alps. I had photos of my trip to Antarctica. Lots of ice, all round...

After that, it was a dash down Flinders Street, via a greasy HJ's burger (that's Burger King for our American friends) to talk at a teaching conference about good books to use in the classroom. This turned out to be something of a nerve-wracking experience, as I'd planned to talk (among other things) about how I use the works of Morris Gleitzman to teach tertiary level creative writing. Nobody bothered to tell me that Morris would be SITTING IN THE FRONT ROW! He didn't throw things, or look pissed off, though, so I think I got away with it.

Then another run up to the State Library, to meet the lovely Erin, who'll be chairing my festival session tomorrow, then back to the hotel for a brief bit of down time, and now here again. Phew.

After this panel, (which is, oddly enough, on the use of setting for VATE exam students) I'm off to dinner with a whole bunch of other Aussie YA authors, including the excellent Kirsty Murray, and my friend Julia Lawrinson (who I think is one of Australia's most under-rated writers..)

After that, assuming I don't get all Mary-Poppinsed away during the walk back to the hotel, then I'm going to bed.

And this time tomorrow, I'll be home again. Woot.

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