Thursday, October 23, 2014

Author Event - Juan Pablo Villalobos

Recently I posted a review of Down The Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos (JP), and I promised an article about the Author Event that Mr B's hosted.  It's been more than a year, and I'm afraid I've been a terrible procrastinator what with all the upheaval in my life in the last year or so.  But at last here it is...

A little over a year ago I went to Mr B's for my second reading spa (if you ever go to Bath you should arrange one - They're FANTASTIC!! Or if you're short of cash as I usually am, you can pop in for a lovely chat). As it happened I had selected a day where they had scheduled an Author Event for Juan Pablo Villalobos who had released a new book.  So I thought 'why not?' and booked myself a place, and prepared to spend a day at the bookshop.

The event was split into two halves, the first half being a discussion around Down The Rabbit Hole, and the second about his new book 'Quesadillas'.  I should have written notes soon after, as I've now forgotten much of what was said, but I do remember my impression of JP was of a highly intelligent man who loves reading and writing.  He writes honestly about the violence and corruption in Mexico, and I am eagerly anticipating his third novel.

I'm afraid that I should have taken notes, but here are some of the Random Things I Remember:

He has themes for all the names of characters in his books.  The names of characters in Down The Rabbit Hole are all based on animals.  In Quesadillas the names are from Greek mythology, and if I remember rightly the next book the names have something to do with France (but don't rely on my memory).

He has degrees in literature, and though he is from Mexico he has lived in Spain and now lives in Brazil.

He rewrote/edited both Down The Rabbit Hole and Quesadillas seven times (I'm fairly sure).

He was very funny.  Quite charming too.

He said we could call him JP.  Maybe to save himself the torture of us trying to pronounce Villalobos :-)

I have yet to read Quesadillas, but will definitely be looking out for his books in the future.

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