Nick Hornby – 3 October 2016, Sheffield Theatres Studio Theatre
Without writer Nick Hornby one of my top three British films of all time “Fever Pitch”, my favourite book of the 21st century “Funny Girl” and two of my favourite adaptions of other people’s biographies “An Education” and “Dear Nina” would not exist. Through his acknowledgements at the back of “Funny Girl” Nick is also responsible for recommending to me one of the best non fiction titles I have ever read (“Spike & Co” by Graham McCann), which greatly increased my already existing passion for British sitcoms.
These gave me more than enough reason to be in an audience with Nick Hornby in the small and intimate Sheffield Theatres‘ Studio Theatre on Monday 3 October for a rare chance to hear Nick talk about his work.
Interviewed by Trisha Cooper from BBC Radio Sheffield, Nick answered questions and offered stories on everything from female characters to football and of course his most recent novel “Funny Girl” before letting us know what he had coming up next, including his recent adaption of “Giants House”, a television pilot about a 1970s record company and him about to start on a live action adaption of “James and the Giant Peach”.
Questions were then opened up to the audience, and as I was lucky to get a front row seat and put my hand up first, starting with mine, with him happy to recommend a book to me “Scenes from a Revolution: The Birth of a New Hollywood” by Mark Harris (which I ordered from Amazon mid-typing this sentence). Another audience question led to Nick providing the following three tips for new writers:
1 Write 500 to 1000 words of a story or three to four pages of a script every day
2 Have a 1000 piece jigsaw on the go next to you as you write so you have something to do whilst you think about what you’re writing
3 There’s not much to it – it’s writing – there’s no short cut, just write something.
Nick, who comes across as friendly, down-to-earth and extremely talented without being annoying about it, finished with the world premier of his first ever and only poem, which he almost lost on the train, whose lines were made up of Jason Bourne’s just over 300 words from the recent film “Jason Bourne” before signing books including my copy of “Funny Girl”.
The event is part of Sheffield’s annual Off The Shelf Festival of Words, one of the largest literary festivals in the UK, which runs until 6 November 2016. For further information visit http://offtheshelf.org.uk.