reflecting on Elizabeth Kostova

Posted on March 7, 2010

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I had the distinct pleasure last Friday evening of interviewing Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian and The Swan Thieves in front of an audience. This was a fun experience.

Elizabeth had a lot of interesting things to share with the audience about her novels, her writing process and experiences.

What really stood out for me though was her attitude.

This was a whirlwind trip for Kostova. Having just arrived from the other side of Australia, Kostova had radio interviews during the afternoon in Canberra then off for this evening presentation. She was later telling me that she had to get up at 4:30 the next morning in order to catch the first flight off to Sydney, to then catch a flight to New Zealand where she was giving another presentation that night. With all this happening, she must have been feeling knackered, to put it mildly. Yet Kostova was more than pleasant, answering questions in detail and joining in some gentle unscripted fun.

Afterwards, Kostova uncomplainingly signed a great heap of books for fans and bookstores. Each person seeking an autograph received at least a pleasantry and often a short chat. I could have easily spent another couple of hours chatting books and writing with her.

In my experience, not all authors are that accessible to their public and I think Elizabeth Kostova has set a benchmark that others would do well to try and emulate.

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