Graham Swift

 It starts with a tingle

…says author Graham Swift, as he tries to explain his process of writing, having returned to the genre of the short story after an absence of many years. This was how he started his writing career, as a teller of short stories, and at that time he never imagined becoming a novelist.

Nine novels later and he’s published a collection of 25 stories called England and other stories His belief is that the function of fiction is ‘to reveal the invisible world, the unspoken, I try to tell a story that wouldn’t otherwise be told’ he said, he is drawn to those inarticulate characters as ‘most of life is inarticulate.’ He then read ‘Saving Grace’ from the collection, a simple but cautionary tale of love, race and morality.

Famous faces……

I’m thrown when I see a face I recognise out of context. We had lunch in the Groucho yesterday, and couldn’t put a name to the face of an actor in the bar who we all recognised. So, rather than just introduce myself, we spent the next hour trawling the Internet for inspiration, to no avail.

Saturday afternoon and evening were spent stewarding, which is always hard work but enjoyable. Dealing with all sorts of questions, getting the queues organised and making sure everyone safely gets in and out of the venues is the aim. I took the roving microphone for the Q&A, which involved wearing a high vis glove so that Alan Yentob could see where the next question was coming from.

Famous faces in context are different. And behind the scenes, Stephen Fry and Sandy Toksvig were unmistakable.

A long day ended with Jason Byrne taking the mickey out of Ray who admitted to stealing a jar of rouge. Odd.

I thought that I’d not be able to sleep without knowing the name of that actor. I slept soundly!