Thursday, 17 May 2012

Talking about the Boy

Painting by Sian Frances of the
Statue of Zeus in his temple at Ancient Olympia

This last week or so I spent a lot of time preparing a talk about the Ancient Olympics (with reference to The Boy with Two Heads) for Adult Learners' Week at Penrith Library. This exhausted me because I was so nervous! Silly, but there we are. I find talking about what I've written myself much more difficult than talking about someone else's work. 
But I seem to be improving. It went OK on Tuesday (even the projector for the powerpoint pictures worked well) and the feedback the Library collected was overwhelmingly positive. People were particularly impressed by the wonderful painting by Sian Frances of the gold and ivory statue of Zeus that features so prominently in The Boy with Two Heads. 

Scraping off the oil
with a strigil
Foundry painter 480BC
Attic red-figure kantharos
They were also intrigued by the fact that the scrapings from naked athlete victors' skin, of olive oil and sweat and dust, was sold after the events as a good luck charm!

And in the midst of the preparation for that, Caroline Robertson interviewed me on Radio Cumbria on Sunday at 11.40 am about The Boy with Two Heads. I was hardly nervous at all! She made it a really pleasant experience. I read the first half-page of The Boy and talked about other books I've written. She was enthusiastic and full of positive energy. She emailed me afterwards and said my reading had been 'a real treat'. Thank you, Caroline!

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