Meet The Author: Carole Pitt
For this week’s Meet The Author, Carole Pitt, crime/mystery author of the DI Elizabeth Jewell series, tells us about her encounter with her crime-writer idol, PD James.
Before starting a book, I always read the author biography. However, nothing compares to seeing an author in person during an interview.
The Cheltenham Literary Festival takes place every year at the beginning of October. In 2012, I made the pilgrimage to Cheltenham Town Hall to see PD James, my favourite crime writer of all time. The interview took place in the grand hall, famous for its marbled Corinthian style columns and decorated coved ceiling. About six hundred people waited patiently for Phyllis to arrive.
I sat two thirds of the way back but thanks to modern technology, a strategically positioned super large flat screen meant I didn’t have to use binoculars to catch a glimpse of this legend. The interview with PD James lasted nearly an hour and a half and was a fantastic experience.
The audience sat completely mesmerised by this ninety- two year old author. She spoke about her long writing career interspersed with amusing anecdotes. When it came to the slot for us mere mortals to ask questions, I didn’t have the guts to put my hand up. Instead, I devised a better idea. My determination to get a closer look at this amazing woman led me to the stage exit before she made her way to the huge Waterstones tent to sign copies of “Death Comes to Pemberley.”
I stood by the exit as she came out; a slight figure, elegantly dressed and looking animated. I knew this was the only chance I would ever get to speak to her. It was now or never.
‘That was an amazing interview,’ I told her.
PD James nodded and smiled at me. ‘Thank you,’ she answered, and went on her way.