Shelley, Welsh, Nabokov: The Dream Authors Panel with Eventbrite


This week, I was inspired by Eventbrite – a platform that allows event organisers to plan, promote, and sell tickets to events and publish them on social media – to come up with my dream panel of authors, dead or alive, to hear talk about their particular genre and bestselling books.

I have used Eventbrite myself to organise the print launch for a literary magazine where I worked as an assistant editor and various other events. The site makes every area of event management simple, quick and easy and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone planning a party, club meet-up, cultural event, or conference.

For me, the headliners of my dream authors panel would have to be…

Mary Shelley

If there’s one story in the world I wish I had come up with, it’s Frankenstein. One of the first successful works of science fiction/gothic horror, Frankenstein was considered blasphemous and scandalous upon publication in 1818. Telling the story of an eccentric, obsessive scientist – desperate to discover the secret of reversing death and prolonging life – Victor Frankenstein finally succeeds in assembling a creature from dead body parts.

After bringing his monster to life, Victor is horrified by what he has done and rejects his creature, causing the monster to turn from innocent and caring to hateful and vengeful. In an ideal world, it would be great to hear Mary Shelley talk about the inspiration behind her legendary story and – since there are so many films and sequels to her book – what she believes the monster would have done next after the novel’s ambiguous, cliffhanger ending.

Irvine Welsh

Frankenstein was my favourite book until I read Trainspotting. Featuring a rotating narrative following a group of delinquents in Leith who turn to drugs, crime, and violence in an age of unemployment and bleak prospects during the Thatcherite era, Mark Renton, Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson, Danny ‘Spud’ Murphy, and Francis ‘Franco’ Begbie and their mates get involved in everything from comical scrapes to harrowing tragedies. Written in Scots, the book might be a challenge for those who aren’t native speakers, but it is definitely worth a read no matter how familiar you are with dialectal speech.

The author of bestselling novels including Trainspotting, Porno, Filth and Glue, it would be great to hear Irvine Welsh speak about the Trainspotting franchise, what he thinks of the new film adaptation of his sequel to Trainspotting, and if he ever plans on revisiting Mark Renton, Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie for one last chapter.

Vladimir Nabokov

Author of one of the most notorious banned books ever, Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita, a novel following unreliable narrator Humbert Humbert who is obsessively ‘in love’ with 12-year-old Dolores Haze. Seducing Lolita’s mother, Humbert becomes her stepfather and then her sole guardian when she is orphaned. Considered a classic of 20th-century literature, but controversial nonetheless, the book continues to bewilder and fascinate readers today with Stanley Kubrick adapting the story into film in 1962 and Adrian Lyne adapting the novel into film again in 1997.

I would love to be able to ask Nabokov about the process of writing such an unconventional novel and how he felt about the backlash it received. I also would have liked to hear him discuss his other works including dystopian novel Bend Sinister.

If I could have another few guest panellists, having Samuel Beckett, Herta Muller, Bram Stoker, R.L. Stevenson, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, the Grimms Brothers, Angela Carter, Susanna Kaysen, and Margaret Atwood would be ideal.

Who would you have on your dream panel of authors? Let me know in the comment section below.


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