The literary festival season will be starting soon and Simon Hoggart shares some of his experiences over at the Guardian.
Amazingly, real writers – not only hacks like me – seem willing to drop everything and speak at these places for, except rarely, no money at all. Quite a few festivals even jib about train fares and mileage (“we were rather hoping your publishers would fund your travel … “). My theory is that writing proper books is a lonely business, partly because unlike most jobs, it doesn’t provide much chance to meet others for the water cooler chat. (“God, he was the worst agent I’ve ever had.” “You don’t have to tell me!”) You might even sell a few books, though only if you’re famous.