Travails of Touring to see a Treasured Travel Writer

Bill BrysonBill Bryson, one of my favourite authors, was being interviewed live on stage by Ray Martin in Brisvegas recently, and getting to meet him proved harder than Japanese algebra.

My requests for an interview were bluntly rejected. I had even shamelessly declared that I write for The Mighty Gladstone Observer (sort of), but this still didn’t cut the mustard with Mr. Bryson’s handlers.

In the end, I emailed them seven questions for him to answer at his leisure, then hopped into the ol’ Estate Wagon and choofed off down the highway to see his show. Hopefully I’d meet him in person afterwards; whether he wanted to or not.

Now Bills’ minders might have stopped me dead in my tracks, but I did manage to slip through all the road-works currently blockading the highway to Brisbane in just under seven hours, which was something of a minor miracle in itself.

And after a terrific show I played my last card. At the box office, I purchased Bills’ latest book, then asked the lady behind the counter if the great man was around to sign it in person.

It was the last act of a desperate columnist.

My heart leaped as she grabbed the book back off me, then opened the cover and pointed to Bills’ signature, “He pre-signed them earlier tonight in his dressing room,” she said turning away, leaving me alone to deal with my cruelly dashed hopes, and slightly dented credit card.

I never got to shake the hand of the man who inspired me to have a crack at the ‘scribbling game’. But if I thought it was hard trying to meet Bill, then it’s been even tougher finding someone who believes I managed to drive through all the road works to Brisbane in less than eight hours.

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