I got kissed by Val McDermid

21 Mar

Guest blog by Kerri Russell who got up close and personal with Val McDermid in Oxford. Picture by Anu Prashar

I got kissed by Val McDermid.

Kerri and Val, taken by Anu PrasharOk, ok, so it was just a peck on the cheek as she said good-bye to everyone, and it obviously didn’t mean anything at all, but at least now I finally have something interesting to say when people ask that old, predictable conversation-starting question: “What famous people have you met?”

It happened when Val McDermid was invited to speak at the University of Oxford’s annual history month lecture. As part of the committee that organizes this yearly event, I had the privilege of not only hearing her talk, but also enjoying an evening of dinner and drinks with her after the talk. I wasn’t asked to write this blog post until after the event, and wish I’d had the presence of mind to ask more insightful questions at the time.

Her lecture was a brilliant mix of discussing her own life experiences including: challenges of being both Scottish and Queer at Oxford in an environment that wasn’t really accepting of either of those identities; her work experience and how she transitioned from tabloid journalism to stage and then mystery writing; and also Queer identity and how Queer perception has changed, and yet has not changed, during her life thus far. There were so many times when I found myself laughing at her stories because of the humorous way she expressed something that was, in fact, serious or painful or sad.

It was an absolutely brilliant evening. But don’t take my word for it. You can download it and listen to it yourself from http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/oxford-lgbt-lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-group. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section.

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One Response to “I got kissed by Val McDermid”

  1. ferox March 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Thanks for the link, Kerri, I’m downloading the podcast now!

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