Going to a Book Talk: Graeme Simsion

On Monday evening, I set out to Waterstones to attend my first author event. I’ve not been to an author’s talk or signing outside of a school environment and so getting to go to one on Monday was even more exciting. The author in question was Graeme Simsion, author of ‘The Rosie Project’ and ‘The Rosie Effect’.

It was a small affair; a group of chairs stood at the back of the shop’s first floor. In front of the chairs, a microphone indicated the focus of attention, with Simsion told small stories while his audience arrived. It was this small size which made it such a pleasant and enjoyable evening. You could relax as Simsion recounted his story – how he got into writing and how Don Tillman and, by extension, ‘The Rosie Project’ came about.

One thing that really struck me at the evening was the fact Simsion did little to no research about Asperger’s Syndrome. Don Tillman was based entirely on Simsion’s own experiences with people he worked with and it was him as a person that was important – that he was diagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome was purely coincidental (the diagnosis was done by someone who had read the book).

It was also really interesting find out about Simsion’s writing career – how it only started later in life after having the idea to write a screenplay and film a short film. As someone who would love to be an author, learning of others’ routes into the industry are always fascinating, and hearing stories from their humble beginnings can only give you hope.

I really enjoyed the event, and definitely feel more inspired to get back to my novel (despite having a dissertation to write).  Simsion is a really good speaker, making what he had to say interesting and entertaining at the same time. Not to mention, I came out with a signed copy of ‘The Rosie Effect’. I am so glad I went to the talk and I think it has started a trend that I will certainly continue. I’m already excited for the next talk I go to, whatever that may be.


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