Hilary Mantel! I am going to a talk she is giving tomorrow and as DH is helping to organise, I may (please, please, please God) get to meet her. I expect we will be able to ask questions after the talk (about her new book) and if I do meet her 'properly' afterwards I would like to say something that doesn't make me look a complete lemon.
So, any suggestions for questions about her work, and also general chit chat? I'd like to ask her who in current public life she thinks most resemble Thomas Cromwell and Anne Boleyn, but I bet she won't answer that one!
Bearing in mind LaQ's posts, I would REALLY like to know (PLEASE ask her this if you can!): Did she MEAN him to be that sexy or did he just come out that way?
I can kind of imagine her giggling to herself at the idea of taking one of the most generally disliked and unattractive figures of the Tudor court and making all these women fall in love with him. But equally maybe the whole process was just subconscious - I would love to know how consciously she did it.
Quick update - HM couldn't come to the drinks party as planned due to health issues so I didn't get to meet her. Her talk was spellbinding though and she read two long-ish passages from The Mirror and the Light.
Someone in the audience (not me!) asked her with whom she most identified in WH and BUTB and she said it was a beautiful question and that she identified with all of them, except Gardiner and Thomas Howard.
The questions asked by the audience were so well-prepared and she answered so eloquently and thoughtfully that I didn't have the nerve to ask about the sexiness of Cromwell.
Oh, and she got the giggles during one of her readings and had to take a break to compose herself before she could carry on, which made me like her even more.
I also got mistaken for Rachel Cooke and someone told me they 'loved my session last night' .
Oh WHY doesn't she identify with Howard? How can she not if she's read his letters, which she MUST have done? (I know he's evil but he is also drily funny and so self-centred that he's easy peasy to get.)
Can't wait for The Mirror And The Light. Is it 2014?
I don't think HM can forgive Howard for his role in Cromwell's downfall.
TM&TL is supposed to be 2014, but HM said that she is making slow progress. She said, interestingly, that she doesn't write in a linear way - i.e. she can't say, 'I'm up to 1530' or whenever it is. Rather, she has files of papers, and scenes written, and then it all comes together in the end into a book.
There was a cameraman there filming the whole thing, so I am wondering if it might appear on her publisher's website.