That Time I Met David Nicholls [Event Recap]

Book Reviews, Just for Fun, Toronto Adventures

Once in a while HarperCollins Canada hosts an intimate gathering with their Facebook fans, one of their authors, and a spectacular interviewee. This event celebrated David Nicholls, author of One Day and Us (which just came out). From what the Facebook invite said, guests would get to listen in on an interview between the epic Laurie Grassi and David Nicholls, then get their book signed. My love for Us demanded that I attend.

On Sunday afternoon I headed down to the HarperCollins offices and was greeted with smiling faces, hot coffee, and yummy snacks. The interview got underway rather quickly, David Nicholls lit up the room with his warm English accent and humble disposition. With cues from Laurie Grassi, he spoke about wanting to write a novel about what happens next, what happens after the dating and the courting. Us is what happens after the I do’s.

He spoke about the theme of changing over time, about journeys and the way they effect you. He discussed the characters in the novel having reasons behind their actions — this is what the other readers and I found so loveable about them. Douglas, however maddening, always acts with reason. In response to Douglas’ annoying traits, Laurie Grassi brought up one of my favourite lines in the book: The fact was I loved my wife to a degree that I found impossible to express, and so rarely did (page 27 of the ARC). David Nicholls purposely chose Douglas’ point of view to tell the story because he has trouble expressing himself. That is what makes him so vulnerable and sometimes rather stupid.

Although I loved hearing about the inspiration behind the book, what I enjoyed most was the discussion on various writing tools. He spoke about how important structure was to writing Us, the short chapters and interweaving Connie and Douglas’ meeting with their trip around Europe 25 years into their marriage, had a purpose. The structure not only made it easier to write the book, but also made the reader want to just read one more chapter, one more chapter.

When asked about what makes him want to keep writing, he shifted in his chair, fixed his glasses and said, “I just really love it. When I was acting, what I really loved about it were the words on the page. It’s a great privilege to do it for a living. I just love it, plus I have a contract with my publisher…”

There’s something quite fascinating about listening to the author of a novel that you love discuss their own work. What struck me about David was how funny he is and how quirky his comments could be. He’s clearly very passionate about his work, and answered all questions with vigor and excitement. He was honestly humbled by the amount of people who turned up for the event and took his time signing books and chatting with each fan. While he signed my copy I asked him if he had any advice for an aspiring novelist. He paused for a moment, thought deeply, and replied:

If you’re going to write, you have to read, that’s where ideas come from. Then you need to show people your work, believe in yourself enough to show your family and friends. Oh and stay away from the Internet, it’s quite distracting.

Thank you HarperCollins for hosting such a lovely event, I’ve never met an author in such an intimate and charming setting. Count me in for the next one!

– Vanessa

 

You may say I'm a dreamer…

Lifestyle/Personal

photo copy

Yesterday at work I looked out the drive-thru window and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but giant white snowflakes falling slowly all around. When I got home from work I made sure all of the Christmas lights were on in the house, then I made a green tea, grabbed a cozy blanket, sat in front of the TV, and watched One Day.

tumblr_lzk7htuPsr1qjmhwpo1_500_large

It was wonderful – I ordered the novel because now I MUST read it.

Photo1

Yesterday evening I felt so light, so full of love. I believed in magic, in romance, in the spirit of Christmas, and it all started with a light dusting of snow. I don’t know how long this feeling will last but I wanted to share it with you, in hopes that you might feel it too.

Even just for a moment.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

You may say I’m a dreamer…

Lifestyle/Personal

photo copy

Yesterday at work I looked out the drive-thru window and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but giant white snowflakes falling slowly all around. When I got home from work I made sure all of the Christmas lights were on in the house, then I made a green tea, grabbed a cozy blanket, sat in front of the TV, and watched One Day.

tumblr_lzk7htuPsr1qjmhwpo1_500_large

It was wonderful – I ordered the novel because now I MUST read it.

Photo1

Yesterday evening I felt so light, so full of love. I believed in magic, in romance, in the spirit of Christmas, and it all started with a light dusting of snow. I don’t know how long this feeling will last but I wanted to share it with you, in hopes that you might feel it too.

Even just for a moment.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo