Jasper Fforde signing One of Our Thursdays is Missing
2 March, 2011
at Foyles Charing Cross Road was fantastic. As always, Jasper Fforde is a wonderful and engaging speaker, full of jokes, self-deprecating and hysterical. Me and Claire aka Paperback Reader had a very enjoyable evening laughing out loud. The event was packed out and very cosy with a real mixture of readers who are clearly huge fans of Fforde’s amazingly inventive novels. I actually got there half an hour early and still had to queue.
Asked about his writing method and whether he outlines, Fforde nodded and said he outlines meticulously and that the finished product, his novel, is in fact the outline (i.e. no he doesn’t). His method is to use narrative dares, where, for example he will pose an intricate problem and would spend the rest of the time trying to work it out and hopefully produce a novel at the end. With his latest in the Thursday Next series, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, his narrative dare was the title itself. Then he starts some narrative gymnastics to try and make things work and sound like a proper novel.
For me, Fforde is one of those impressive novelists who, even though he produces one, or even two, books a year, doesn’t sacrifice quality. I mean, look at Shades of Grey. It’s innovative, complicated and works brilliantly. His novels are extremely detailed and often complex and packed with jokes which, you can tell, he relishes that I always get the feeling he is actually the one having the most fun writing his books. How amazing is that for a writer? Seriously, I can’t wait to read this book!
If you ever get a chance to go to a Jasper Fforde event, I heartily recommend it. Check out Annabel aka Gaskella’s experience at a Fforde signing in Abingdon.