My Cheltenham Literary Festival 2018 Diary

This is the fourth year in a row that I was in Cheltenham for their fabulous Literary Festival. I love the atmosphere of the literary festivals. Seeing some of your favourite authors and experiencing the buzz around the festival area must be every book lovers dream.

I am quite late in publishing this post so I will let the pictures speak for me.

I went to festival with my buddies Umut and Naz (she’s a book lover but doesn’t have a blog)

We had a super time as seen in pictures above and I must confess two nights without child or husband in sight and no dinner prep and tidy up was: AMAZING. Every busy mum needs a break ! Well, now let me tell you what we were up to!

Missed Matt Haig Event, but was lucky to grab a photo


Because we were driving from Cambridge and Friday traffic after work was HORRENDOUS, we sadly missed the Matt Haig event which we had tickets for..

We were able to make it on time for the signing and met with Matt Haig. He has such a good energy and you instantly see his Twitter persona is actually in flesh and bones, it’s so difficult to find this honesty openness and you can’t help being inspired by him!

I got my book signed…hooray!

From Page to Screen with Two Amazing writers: Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes

On saturday we went to Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes’s ‘From Page to Screen’ Event. this event was quite crowded and really fun. I loved how light-hearted Liane Moriarty is, she is almost one of her witty characters.  One thing that made me laugh was Moyes’s description of her feelings when a book is optioned to be made into a movie or TV series. She said she starts to look for gowns to choose what to wear in Oscars/Emmy’s on red carpet then 2 years pass the option expires and nothing happens… Sadly, most books are optioned for 18 months or 2 years but they don’t materialise. Both authors lightheartedly told their experiences with young assistant TV producers, how they met in cafe’s and how they were ensured the book was DEFINITELY going to be on the screen before they slowly find out it isn’t going to be! Moriarty told that What Alice Forgot was optioned but it never happened. That made me gasp because I love that book…Her son was 2 years old when it was optioned and the child is now 10!


Moyes told she was lucky, as Me Before You was grabbed super speedily. She said she has the New York Times review of the book framed on her wall. She also made us laugh telling the story of her going into meeting with MGM producers, as carefully planned and selected outfit’s button burst in the airport and she was almost shooed by the security whilst trying to find it.  I was surprised to learn that Liane Moriarty was directly contacted by Nicole Kidman, for Big Little Lies. Well, if you want more details on what they talked about and more fun facts, Umut has summarised them here in her wonderful post about her Cheltenham Literary festival impressions.

I am Hooked with Booker !


Here comes the 4 shortlisted authors,  in a talk chaired by Gaby Wood. Daisy Johnson, Rachel Kushner , Richard Powers and Robin Robertson. The highlight of this event was Daisy Johnson’s talk for me, she read the first few pages of her books and can you believe I burst into tears? It was such a moment for me. I don’t know why I become taken away by the stories and books like this.

I adored the way she described how she decided to write a novel: “I wanted to take a story, destroy it, and rebuild it.” Such a determination! She aced it. Although Milkman grabbed the Booker, every future book she writes will be big hits! Johnson is young but she writes like she lived several lifetimes.


Kushner’s conversation was also very interesting. She talked about how people are divided in US. People who went to Harvard know people who went to Harvard, and people who went to prison know people who also went to prison. She made a sarcastic remark of her having friends & acquaintances from both sides. I haven’t read the Mars Room but I felt like she wrote it to highlight the ‘inequality’ of US public. I was also surprised to learn she worked in nightclubs for a while. (Mars Room is a strip club in the book, If I am not mistaken)


And this is my cheeky selfie with Johnson, one of my favourite authors from now on. Well, since I have read Everything Under.

This year’s festival was really good but it wasn’t as crowded and busy as last year which made me think. I am looking forward for next year really. I have also bough a few signed books for my son, 5, too lazy to picture them, as usual!

See you in another literary festival X


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