J. K. Rowling at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

It was fantastic!

It was strange, I knew I would enjoy it a lot, but I didn’t expect that I’d get chills when she came onto the stage. It was such an odd feeling. The actual interview was really interesting, she read us a couple of pages from The Casual Vacancy, and I absolutely loved it! It was a good passage; I hadn’t gotten there myself yet, but it didn’t give too much away, it just made me more keen to keep on reading.

She talked about the themes of the book, about being a teenager (now and when she was young), about poverty, about class divides. It was very interesting, and I agree with almost everything she said. I do feel that she didn’t properly outline why it would be problematic for Krystal, the teenage girl central to the plot, to be promiscuous. Of course I am aware that promiscuity can be problematic, especially in a young person as troubled as Krystal, but I was a bit disappointed to hear J. K. express herself as if promiscuity in a girl in itself always is problematic (she outlined all the ways Krystal is “flawed”, and threw the word promiscuous into the mix). Maybe she didn’t mean for it to sound like that, I would really hope that my hero is not a  sex negative slut-shamer. As far as I know she calls herself a feminist, so it may very well be that she just didn’t think to elaborate further.

The last fifteen minutes audience members could ask questions, and the girl sitting next to me got to walk up to the stage and hand over a bunch of flowers! She got a hug as well, and I couldn’t help squealing (jealously haha). Afterwards I queued for an hour to have my copy signed. Since there were so many of us there was no time to actually say anything to her. She did make eye contact though, and I managed a thank you, and then the queue moved on. To be honest though, I am perfectly happy and satisfied with that. I’ve never felt comfortable at the idea of actually speaking to someone famous, even if it’s someone I admire greatly. I don’t want to impose on them, and that tiny bit of interaction is exactly as much as I wanted. I got to look into her eyes, thank her for the impact she’s made on my life, and now I have a book with her signature in it. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling when I look at it. Bliss!

J. K. Rowling’s signature!

I have now “met” the only celebrity I’ve ever had an interest in meeting.

Afterwards I did make it to the house-warming party, and I had a brilliant night. The shoes did arrive! All in all it was an amazing day. Do I dare using the word “magical”? You got to love a cliché.


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