Some interesting events coming up: Write on Kew is a new festival being held at Kew Gardens from Thursday 24 - Sun 27 September. There are more details here
I'll be talking to the Director of Horticulture there, Richard Barley, and the 2 Michelin Star chef, Raymond Blanc about the Kew on Plate project: the making of a kitchen garden, a television series and a book. That's on Thursday 24th at 4pm.
I'll be back there for a couple of events on Sat 26th, in conversation with the author of One Day, Starter for Ten and Us, David Nicholls at 11.45 in the morning, and fellow Southern African, actor Richard E Grant, in the evening at 6.30. Steve Martin has just written a new forward to his film diaries With Nails and the book is being republished as a Picador Classic.
I understand all tickets include entry to the gardens - and there are some really wonderful events, it is well worth browsing the programme to see what else is on.
The London Literature Festival takes place at the Southbank centre from 28th of September to the 12th of October. On the theme of Tell Me Something I Don't Know, one of the highlights is a spectacular 4 day performed reading of Herman Melville's Moby Dick. I'm thrilled to be taking part in that on Thursday 1 October.
I'm also hosting the Cocktail Hours Series at the festival at which one can enjoy a cocktail demonstration by a leading drinks writer followed by a spirited reading from a celebrated author. These take place on the 6th, 7th and 8th of October. They open for drinks at 6 and at the first one, Alice Lascelles, Financial Times drinks writer and former Times cocktail columnist, will be mixing things up, followed by a reading and interview with Patrick deWitt, whose previous novel The Sisters Brothers was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. De Witt will be reading from his new book Undermajordomo Minor and telling us something we didn’t know about his offbeat fictional universe.
On Wednesday the 7th, author of The Spirits and Evening Standard columnist Richard Godwin (this not nepotism, we haven't even met yet, though perhaps we'll discover we are long lost cousins...) shows some flare with a cocktail shaker, followed by a reading and interview with Ann Morgan – an explorer of world literature who wrote about the discoveries she made whilst reading a book from each and every country on the planet.
The final Cocktail hour is on Thursday 8th and the guest author for this evening is Louise Stern, whose most recent novel Ismael and His Sisters was written and set in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Stern, a deaf writer, tells us something we don’t know about her striking fictional world and is joined by mixologist and drinks industry expert Tristan Stephenson. More details and tickets here: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/london-literature-festival
In the middle of the LLF, I'm off to Cheltenham, one of the highlights of my year, for the Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, running from Oct 2 until the 11th. On Friday the 2nd, at 2.15 I'm really looking forward to talking to Frederick Forsyth. For over forty years, Forsyth has written real-world tales of intrigue, from The Day of the Jackal to The Kill List. The Outsider tells his most captivating story yet: his own.
On Saturday 3rd of October I'll be talking to Anita Shreve in an exclusive and very special event, looking back at and raising a toast to her much-loved novel, The Pilot’s Wife.
And that evening, I'm so pleased to be chatting again to Audrey Niffenegger, the bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife who presents Ghostly, her edited and illustrated selection of creepy and witty ghost stories: from M. R. James and Neil Gaiman to tales of her own. Tickets and info about the wealth of other events here: http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature
Then it is a new a festival for me, in Chester, which runs from the 10th to the 25th of October. Lots of information and tickets here . I'm doing 3 events, the first is on the 11th of Oct when I'll be chatting to actor and comedian Nick Frost who has a brand new memoir out entitled Truths, Half Truths and Little White Lies.
Then I'll be back in town on the 22nd to talk to Dom Joly, the comedian and journalist about his latest work, Here Comes The Clown, and the following day, I'm really looking forward to meeting Ranulph Fiennes, the world’s greatest living explorer, who talks about Heat.
I'll still be presenting the Globalist on Monocle 24 at 7am , usually on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and I'll if I'm not in the studio live for The Weekend Edition on Saturdays, the book interview will still be going out at around 15.15. Highlights coming up include Booker Prize Shortlisters Hanya Yanagihara and Marlon James and Richard Cockette on Burma.