Thursday, 12 March 2015

Jasper Fforde in Headingley Library

Jasper Fforde          Photo: Richard Wilcocks
Kate Baldwin writes:
Jasper Fforde was a wonderfully charismatic speaker and as funny as his novels would suggest. The creator of the Thursday Next series charmed us with tales of how he came to start writing and his methods. A favourite of mine, and apparently his, was what he termed a “narrative dare”, one of which he gave the audience to chew over in their own time: Imagine a world where everyone has three legs.

What I thought particularly brilliant about Fforde’s talk was how easily he held the audience in the palm of his hand. He gave us a laugh a minute – I found myself with a constant smile on my face – while touching on subjects he thought important such as the significance of imaginative play in children. Even then he managed to elicit a laugh with an anecdote about his children setting the parameter for a game by starting with “right, all our parents are dead!”

There were plenty of established fans within the audience already, with some having travelled from afar, but Jasper definitely won a few more at Headingley Library with his books flying off the shelves and a classically British queue forming for him to kindly sign everyone’s copies! Personally, I asked him to provide his favourite pun and I got two for the price of one in return:

 “Marmalade is generally the preserve of breakfast.”


“Cowards run in our family.”

A lovely man and a fantastic author!

  Read Jasper's blog at

Quote: "... books based upon the notion that what we read in books is just a small part of a larger BookWorld that exists behind the page"

Audience comments:

It was fun, funny and informative.  This is the first time I’ve come to an event and I think I lucked out with Jasper Fforde  (SG)

Awesome  (R)

Excellent speaker, amusing and inspiring.  I could have listened to Jasper speaking all evening!  (JB)

A great event.  Thanks for giving me a chance to meet one of my heroes.  (AC)

Really interesting, fun and very genuine  (BY)

It was an amazing experience to hear about the creative process of such a prolific author.  Thank you!  (MS)

Brilliant, lively, offbeat, everything one hoped for  (JO)

Absolutely brilliant – warm and inviting, informative and playful!  Thank you!  (BM)

Fascinating and delightful  (ER)

Wonderful event, thank you.  (JR)

Very good, really enjoyed Jasper’s talk and Q&A  (LO) 

Fantastic event, Jasper was very informative and funny.  I bought 5 books!  (NO)

Very interesting – he’s a great speaker  (JS)

It was great, thank you for organising it.  J  (T)

Excellent talk – entertaining and informative  (CH)

Really enjoyed this  (WS)

Very interesting and engaging speaker.  Would benefit from larger room and have more time (though I’m sure we went over)  (KBH)

Such a privilege to be able to hear his witty and considered talk and answers.  Must confess I did attend a Jasper Fforde event in 2011 at Edinburgh Book Festival and enjoyed that too and read some more books after it so this was event I was already looking forward to.  (SL)

Brilliant!  (PG)

V. interesting and enjoyable.

Absolutely loved it!  Very engaging and amusing.  A really enjoyable evening.

Excellent speaker – relaxed, entertaining and enlightening.


Fantastic event but that’s simply down to Jasper himself: great work to secure his attendance.  Could happily have had more time, so the member of staff who introduced him could have been more brief IMO.  You said more tickets could have been sold: there are rooms at Heart or other venues.  Though, cheap at the price!!  (RH)

1 comment:

  1. What a shame it is that for WEEKDAY events we find it more difficult to book larger venues in Headingley - they have their regular club and organisation meetings in them and are not available for one-offs like us. Weekends are different.