We love seeing our heroes meet. It’s why a film featuring Batman and Superman is generates more excitement than a film with just one of them (as long as the plot still makes sense, but that’s a conversation for another day).
So my brain made an excited squeaky noise when I saw that there’s going to be a special event at the London Book and Screen Week featuring Michael Morpurgo AND Owen Sheers!
These two authors have both inspired and motivated me, both through their books and the way they have taken the time to connect with their readers. And no, I haven’t decided which of them, in this analogy, would be Batman or Superman. Actually, thinking about it now, I’m fairly sure Owen Sheers would be Batman.
When I was sixteen, Michael Morpurgo gave a talk at my school. The hall was full of primary school children, and I think I was the only teenager there, but I had loved his books as a child and brought a well-read copy of The Butterfly Lion in the hope he would sign it. I spoke to him after the talk, and his first words to me were ‘Do you want to be a writer?’ I said that I did (wondering what gave it away!), and he proceeded to give me some good advice on what (not) to study at university in order to pursue that path. I took his advice and it helped me decide what degree to take!
I think it was later that same year that Owen Sheers, at the time known best for his poems rather than novels, visited our school. He led some poetry workshops with the Year Thirteens. Then there was a poetry competition for the whole school: the all-new Owen Sheers Award. I won! He described my poem as ‘sassy and streetwise’ which I think is brilliant proof that a piece of writing does not always accurately reflect the writer! And he gave me a signed copy of The Dust Diaries.
I would love to go to this event and see two writers who inspired me so much talk together. They are going to be discussing the process of books being adapted for stage and screen. They strike me as very different authors, and I wonder how different their views would be. Probably not different enough for it to disintegrate into an epic battle.
So the only thing that remains is for me to save up all my money to be able to travel to London.