Interesting notes from Cheltenham Literature Festival

Hi friends! I had an exciting weekend at Cheltenham Literature Festival with my friends. Ova from ExcuseMyReading, is a fan of this festival and kindly dragged me to it! And, I’m glad she did 🙂 Apart from the damage to the pockets, we had great fun. We met Matt Haig, Liane Moriarty, Jojo Moyes, and all the shortlist authors of the ManBooker Prize. I thought I’d share a list of interesting notes I took from the talks with authors.

Matt Haig was just as amazing as he is on Twitter. It was a pleasure to meet him, and to get my books signed. I was a little bit paralysed from excitement when he was talking to me, so it took me few seconds to answer a simple question! Well, he’s a celebrity to me, what can I do.

Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes was in a session called :From Book To Screen’, where they talked about their experiences of adapting books to movies. Here are some fun facts I learned there:

  • Moyes’ book was optioned after it was reviewed by NY Times, which is not to conventional in her genre.
  • She wrote her own adaptation to screen, and actually now has another career path writing screenplays from books. She says she really enjoyed it and it became a profession.
  • Her only “NO-GO” request from the producers was not to change the end of the book.
  • Moriarty’s father pushed his 2 daughters in this direction since they were little, by commissioning them to write something in exchange for chocolate 🙂
  • Her sister (Nicola) got a book deal before her, and that’s what pushed her to quit her career in advertising and start writing full time.
  • Nicole Kidman approached her directly for the series.
  • 2 things her fans are angry about the changes in the adaptation to series: The setting change from Australia to California, especially Aussie fans 🙂 The second is Madeline cheating on her husband in the series, whereas in the book, there’s no such thing. Liane said her Madeline wouldn’t do it, either, but probably her hands were tied.
  • She didn’t write the screenplay for the series, although she was given the option. She says she doesn’t know the end of her books when she starts writing, and that’s part of the thrill for her. Whereas, she’d know the ending if she’s adapting, so she had no interest in doing that.

We attended another event where we had 4 of the shortlist authors from the Manbooker Prize: Rachel Kushner (The Mars Room), Richard Powers (The Overstory), Daisy Johnson (Everything Under), and Robin Robertson (The Long Take).

It was a session of discussing their books, and they also read a little part each from their own books. I must say, Powers disappointed me a little bit with his reading, and also signing a little paper instead of his book. Johnson’s reading was epic! So impactful, that I wanted to read her book. Thankfully, she made a lot of effort for the moderator not to give any spoilers! All in all, it was nice to meet them all. I’m really excited to see who’s going to come victorious from this battle. My heart is with Daisy Johnson 🙂

So, that was my very literary weekend. I hope you enjoyed my small download of this event. If you met any of these authors or read any of their books, let me know in comments, I’d always want to hear 🙂

Thanks a lot for stopping by and happy reading!




19 thoughts on “Interesting notes from Cheltenham Literature Festival

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