Bridport Literary Festival: Fay Weldon

Honeybee Books - Weldon Fay

I feel so lucky to live in Bridport. For the most part if I want to meet famous writers I would need to travel to a city for a book launch or literary event, but Bridport literary festival as brought some great names right to my door step. This afternoon I joined a full house at the Bull Hotel to listen to Fay Weldon introduce her latest novel ‘The New Duchess’, the final work in a trilogy. Fay was an intelligent, articulate and warm speaker. Her passion for words and her honesty shone through. On a personal level she professed a dislike for both cooking and walking, (to the audiences amusement), and went on to talk at length about her research into the intricacies of turn of the century class relationships. Some of you may know that Fay Weldon penned the first ever episode of ‘Upstairs Downstairs’.

For me, my favourite section was her discussion of the differences between writing on a computer and writing longhand. Fay speculated that a computer changes the way you write. On the screen you know that changing what you have written is easy, you expect to go back and correct. Longhand there is more imperative to write cautiously first time round. But, she said, readers have changed too, and long hand style no longer captures our attention, rather like the static scenery and drawn out shots of old movies, we have become accustomed as readers to a new type of writing. Is that a bad thing, she was asked. No, she says, it’s just different. Times move on, and we must move on with them. Wise words from a lady who published her first book over 45 years ago.

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