5 minutes with….

Sarah McIntyre takes the stage for London Book & Screen Week’s 5-minutes with…

What was the last book you read?
Odd-Bods by Steven Butler and Jarvis. (To be honest, I was sitting at a table chatting with Steven and a bunch of other people so I didn’t get to read all the picture book words fully, but the artwork was amazing–I must check out more of Jarvis’s work.)

And what did you read it on?
I read it on a table full of school lunch food in a headmaster’s office that had been converted into a hospitality room, while a bunch of authors and I were getting ready to go on stage again. I don’t think the pages had been stapled together yet (it was a proof copy) so it flopped about a bit.

What is your favourite book to screen adaptation?
Cyrano de Bergerac, with Gérard Depardieu and Anne Brochet. I suppose it’s technically a play, but it’s printed up as a book, and Geraldine McCaughrean wrote a lovely modern adaptation in Cyrano. It’s the perfect blend of not taking itself too seriously and high romantic period drama with terrific lines.

Where is the best place to read in London?
If the book’s good, it doesn’t really matter where I am; I’ll hardly notice it! (Maybe Greenwich Park on a sunny day?) But if the book’s a bit rubbish, it’d be nice to be eating a sundae at Fortnum & Mason’s ice cream parlour at the same time. Perhaps followed by servings of champagne all afternoon. Or on a sofa in front of a fire in Lismore Castle; I stayed there a couple nights last year for the fantastic Towers & Tales book festival and decided to move in permanently.

What is the best book you’ve read that is set in London?
I love Philip Reeve’s futuristic London in the Mortal Engines quartet and prequel Fever Crumb trilogy. It’s a mobile London and it chases other smaller cities to devour them and use their parts. It’s capped by the dome of St Paul’s cathedral, and he makes funny references, such as a shrine of St Kylie and monks that go around chanting to “Hari Potter”. Concept artist Ian McQue is a big fan and has created some breathtaking imagery based on it.

Which writer would you have loved to have met–and why?
When I was a kid, I was certain somehow that I would one day meet Laura Ingalls Wilder and when I found out she had died (in 1957), I cried for at least two hours. I’m a little less in awe of writers now, I mostly just want more time to read their books. But I’d love to spend a month travelling around Japan with illustrator Jonathan Edwards (aka Jontofski) and creature creator Louise Evans (aka Felt Mistress) making sketchbook drawings. I also had a dream of staying with Audrey Niffenegger and spending a couple weeks learning printmaking from her in her studio, and then it happened last summer, which was awesome.

What TV series are you obsessing over right now?
The characters in Orange is the New Black are so terrific! The second season was even better than the first.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
My husband Stuart, my sister in Seattle, my co-authors Philip Reeve and David O’Connell, my author friends Candy Gourlay and Audrey Niffenegger, my studio mates Elissa Elwick and Gary Northfield, my flatmate from when I lived in Russia (Mags), and perhaps writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (I’ve only met her once at a festival but I’d love to know her better.)

What would be the title of your autobiography?
Sarah McIntyre: My Life as a Celebrity Hatstand.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Kevin Bacon. Then I’d be connected to every other film out there.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @jabberworks and join her at #SketchbookSocial on 14th April 2016. Get your tickets here: http://new-londonbookandscreenweek.bitnamiapp.com/event/sketchbook-social-2/

Sarah McIntyre set up #PicturesMeanBusiness, a campaign that calls for people to credit illustrators for their work. http://www.picturesmeanbusiness.com

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