There is something very cool about meeting an author you have loved since forever and last week I had the chance to meet Judy Blume herself in Waterstones Piccadilly when she was in London to promote her newest book, In The Unlikely Event.
Usually in book events like this there is someone interviewing the author. In this case there was no one so Judy Blume spoke about her book and introduced us all to a very special guest, her husband, George, who acted her dance partner before the two of them had a conversation that had us all in giggles.
This has to be one of my most favourte author events ever. Obviously Judy and her husband are incredibly close and very comfortable with each other which really made the event. They were able to joke and laugh and there wasn’t that level of awkwardness that I sometimes see in other events.
One of the funniest bits was when Judy asked George to ask her some questions before a microphone was handed to members of the audience. He asked her what the most embarrassing question she’d ever been asked was. She started laughing and the banter between the two of them was brilliant. It turned out that in an event with her daughter and her daughter’s friends, her grandson and his girlfriend, a journalist asked who she had her first sexual experience with.
I think her response was brilliant – ‘with myself’ – but of course the journalist wouldn’t take that for an answer. While Judy and George were laughing about this I tried to put myself in her shoes and wondered how I would react if someone asked me that question. With probably a little more violence and less poise.
In The Unlikely Event is about a period in early 1950s when in Elizabeth, New Jersey three planes fell from the sky in the space if three months. Against this backdrop, this book follows the story of three generations of families and friends. As the plane crashes were real events, the amount of research Judy did to make sure all the facts were correct was astounding and her husband George helped to write the news articles that start each chapter.
I haven’t read this book but I can’t wait too. I have loved Judy Blume’s books all my life and after she said that this was the book she was meant to write, it went right to the top of my list.