Bobette Buster: How to Tell Your Story so the World Listens

Bobette Buster: How to Tell Your Story so the World Listens

First impressions, late afternoon, Saturday, 25 May 25 2013 – after a 12-hour flight (LA to London), five hours driving in the rain, one flat tyre, only to find…

Jet-lagged, stumbling in from Hollywood, the panorama before me is Wales/England – the ‘peaceable kingdom’ at Golden Hour. Children playing in the hay…at Hay, adults drinking Pimm’s and basking in the sun – because, I’m told, it’s been such a very long time since the skies were this blue. The late afternoon light casts the sheep grazing on the hillsides as if we’ve been dropped inside the movie set of Babe. It’s just so lovely.

All this – the most prestigious literary festival in the very realm of literature – to celebrate the literal act of reading reminds me of the equally prestigious festival in the world of independent film: the Sundance Film Festival. A similarly remote location that required all manner of transportation to reach; fighting weather variables like Indians circling the wagons at any time. But when you arrive, you are just so glad you made the effort.

In the realm I come from, reading is often dismissed as a dying art. Well, here it’s obviously adamantly alive and well. Thank you very much. As I cast a glance at my twitter feed, where at this very hour – in a galaxy far, far away – other players from my tribe are at Cannes rushing along the Croisette, a fraught discourse rages over the Palme d’Or, the very future of cinema. Here, in Hay, I smile to myself. Everyone seems, well, relaxed. Yet it strikes me that we all just want the same thing: To enjoy the world of imagination, of those creators whose life passion has been to take us a into a world we’d otherwise never experience.

Here at the Hay Festival, folks obviously exult in the gathering spirit, just for the love of communing with their authors, those loyal-soldiers-to-the-word who spend most of their year alone, just to get it right – to gather the strands of their imagination, like kindling in a cold forest, and somehow create a fire. I must admit that as a new author myself, some of us do look a bit like mole people (I speak for myself here) having been far too long, too reclused inside our eyries and reveries.

Perhaps, we’re the ones who most need the likes of the Hay Festival, to be restored to the life of the community, to our audience. In order that we can keep fanning the flames of imagination. Because as in the film that’s all we want in the end: To connect. I see the Hay Festival motto, ‘Imagine the world’. Ah…yes.