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8th December
written by Steph
Ffantastic Mr. FForde

Ffantastic Mr. FForde

Forgive me, internet friends, but I have to do something I try very hard not to do: today, I'm gushing.  Why?  Because this morning I got to do a phone interview with Jasper Fforde!  I'm interviewing him for BookPage, and the interview will be posted on their site in January, so I can't spill too many beans here, which I realize is horrifically cruel of me, but them's the breaks. I will say that I was super nervous up to (and including) dialing his phone number (British numbers look so weird!), but you'll all be pleased to hear that I was the consummate professional and did not: a) hang up several times before finally going through with it like a 12-year-old girl; or b) propose matrimony.  And I only mentioned my über-fan status two or three times, and not in a scary way...  I had worried going in that I might not be able to keep up with someone as dazzlingly clever and charming as Mr. Fforde, but he was really very congenial and easy to talk to, and I think that all of my questions went over really well.  He was very candid and thoughtful, and it was so much fun to talk to one of my favorite authors about how he approaches writing as well as getting the inside scoop on some of the books.   We easily chatted for about an hour – one I would happily relive over and over again, because it just went by too quickly! While there are plenty of authors I’d love to interview if given the chance, I think Jasper Fforde was the best possible person to kick things off with… and if I never get to interview another author again, well, this will be enough.  Having seen him speak a few times previously, I knew he was extremely gracious and articulate, and well, we all know how I feel about a man with an accent... but it was so nice to find him that way in a one-on-one scenario as well. Consider my author crush intensified by 10,000!  Sigh.  I hope the ladies at BookPage let me keep the tape recording of us chatting (and that Tony doesn’t “accidentally” run the Mini Cooper over it)… So as not to be totally heartless, here are a few of the things that we discussed that will hopefully make my writeup in January (anything that doesn't but is trivia-worthy, I promise to post here):
  • Why did he feel it was time to branch out from the Thursday Next & NCD books?
  • The importance of comedy in fiction
  • Where the inspiration for Shades of Grey came from
  • The joys of book tours
  • Jasper gives some glimpses into the next Thursday Next book (slated for 2011 release!), and some of the books & well-loved characters he’s trying to cram in there
  • Which Thursday Next book is his favorite thus far
  • Why you should never visit Nashville on a Monday…
So much fun, guys!  I’m seriously on cloud nine right now (and wondering if I can swing a roadtrip to Atlanta on Jan 15 where Jasper will be doing a book signing and Q&A at the Buckhead Barnes & Noble.  P.S.  You should check and see whether he's coming to a city near you!)!  Tell me, if you could interview one author, who would you pick?  Any authorial crushes I should know about?


  1. 12/08/2009

    I do believe you are smitten! And congrats on not drooling on him. I would have. Unashamedly. Is that a word? You are the consummate professional! 🙂

    Will be sure and read the interview when published so don’t forget to link here? Glad to see he will be here in DC too.

  2. 12/08/2009

    Oh my goodness — I would say that you are entitled to gush!! How fun — and it sounds like you had quite a professional conversation. I look forward to reading the entire interview in January.

  3. 12/08/2009

    Wow! I would be gushing, too! That is so fabulous that you got to chat with one your fave authors – how amazing! And it sounds like you were most definitely the consummate professional – you rock! Can’t wait to read your interview with him in BookPage! Congrats!

  4. 12/08/2009

    Ahhh! I am so envious of you right now! I would so like to meet Mr. Fforde or hear him speak, and I can really understand why you are so excited about today’s events! Congratulations on the interview and I will definitely be checking it out. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!

  5. 12/08/2009

    Bah…I’ll be in Atlanta around the 8th… Oh well. YAY you! Sounds like you have quite the fabulous experience. 😉

  6. OH MY OH MY! I am SO jealous! Congrats!

    I am seeing him on January 18th 😀 (hoping to have the book you send me signed!) I am very excited about the new Thursday Next novel in ’11 (I think it’s entitled One of your Thursdays is missing). I actually bought them all today for somebody’s Christmas gift.

    Looking forward to reading your interview … the wealth of questions one could ask Jasper Fforde on his creative inspiration is unboundless. I would love to interview Sarah Waters giving the chance.

  7. 12/08/2009

    Oh oh oh!!! How wonderful! What a dream come true – I can’t wait to read your interview!

  8. Amy

    What a wonderful opportunity! It sounds like you had a really interesting (but of course!) conversation with him too! So impressive that you were able to remain in control as well. Congrats.

  9. 12/08/2009

    I have frequently gushed on my blog about Mr. Fforde. All that gushing got me a pre-release hardcover of Shades of Grey! Review posts the Monday after Christmas. MUST CHECK TOUR DATES!

  10. 12/08/2009

    He’s coming to my city! He’s coming to my city!

  11. 12/08/2009

    Consider the tape yours, if you can protect it from Tony! But you have to bring the recorder back; I’m pretty sure that’s a museum piece. 🙂 Can’t wait to read your piece, and thanks for leaving me some good interview mojo for my chat with Beth Hoffman!

  12. 12/08/2009

    How awesome! KNowing how much you love him! He sounds really wonderful, too. Can’t wait to read your piece, even if I haven’t read any of his books yet. 🙂

  13. 12/08/2009

    How much fun! I look forward to the full interview.

  14. 12/08/2009

    How exciting! Congrats on not getting tongue-tied!

  15. 12/09/2009

    How exciting!! I can’t wait to read your interview.

  16. 12/09/2009

    How fun! Congratulations! I would have been nervous too — SO nervous, in fact! I can definitely get star struck.

  17. That is so exciting! I would be really scared interviewing someone by phone. In many ways it is scarier than in person and I am so pleased to hear that it went well. I really must read some more of his books as I loved the first one.

  18. 12/09/2009

    Wowzer! That’s incredible! I’m so happy for you, I’d be jumping up and I down if I wouldn’t hurt myself in the process. I can definitely understand you’re being nervous. Fforde is one my favorite authors. I can’t imagine not stuttering once I got him on the phone. It sounds like you did a great job, though. Can wait for the printed product!

  19. 12/09/2009

    Whoops! I meant “can’t wait.” How far away is January again? 🙂

  20. 12/12/2009

    oh wow, that is super cool!

  21. taryn

    Umm, Steph? You’re thinking of “swinging” a roadtrip to Atlanta to see Jasper? Tony really has no idea what he’d be getting himself into there, does he? 😛

    ps: Do try to see if you can get him to double-autograph one of your books!

  22. 12/15/2009

    Congratulations! That’s fantastic.

  23. 12/19/2009

    OMG! Here I was feeling all excited that I’ll get to hopefully see him on his Atlanta book tour stop and you actually got to interview him! I’m so excited for you (and just a teensy bit jealous)! Can’t wait to read the interview!

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