Tuesday, 29 January 2013


A while before Christmas, I got an email from one of my local libraries - Harold Hill Library - asking me if I would like to take part in an author's event planned for the end of January.

 Harold Hill Library

There would be three of us - all local authors - talking to the library's Young at Heart Group - an hour, including tea and biscuits. At the time, biscuits were part of my staple diet, so there was no question of my saying no. I reckoned on a quick fifteen minute splurge about the book and how I wrote it, and then a couple of questions - not dissimilar to the Book Tour. And there would be an opportunity to sell a few books as well, not that I banked on selling many, especially up against two other authors.

But it's funny how things work out . . .

I got an email this morning from Matt the Library Manager that one of the author's had informed them last week they couldn't turn up, and the other author had failed to confirm his attendance. So, it seemed like it would just be me. To add to the chaos, Summer, our gorgeous five year old, had been off school yesterday, and looked set to be off school today. I knew I'd had to cancel if I had to, but, thankfully, my parents are amazing and saved the day.

I turned up at the library having no idea how things would transpire, just intent on enjoying myself.

Being the only author there, I was able to set up my big seven foot poster wotsit.

 My seven foot banner wotsit thing - as modelled by Summer

That sort of made me feel comfortable straight away, sort of legitimate, if you like. I had no idea how many people would turn up - perhaps three or four in this awful weather - but the seats began to fill. Indeed, more seats had to be got.

I'm no longer nervous on these occasions - part of the gift writing this book has given me. I had printed out a couple of sections of the book - taking out the naughty words so as not to upset anyone - and laid them on the table. Then I sat on the front of the table, and began saying whatever was in my head at the time.

The next hour I spoke of my school days, of writing the book, of counselling, of my kids, my family, football, and anything else that came out. And the audience seemed so wrapped up in what I was saying I could barely believe it.

At the end there was some great questions and universally appreciative comments.

One person asked to buy a book, then another, then someone wanted two, another wanted three, and so on. In the end, I sold all the books I'd brought with me.

A lovelier group of people I have never met

All that was left was one library copy. Inadvertently, I sold that as well :)

 A look of horror on my face as I realise I am signing, and have just sold, the library's very own copy of ABIDE WITH ME

All in all, I had an incredible time.

I'd like to thank Matt, Alison, and Janice from Harold Hill Library for being so supportive and for inviting me to Harold Hill Library.

Reflecting back on the event, I don't think I've enjoyed myself more throughout this whole writing experience. And that is really saying something.

 After the event, knackered, but really proud

Getting back home after picking Summer up, time for Dad duties. A drink and a 'nana for her. Sore throat, see. Bless her.  And then Homeward Bound on the DVD.

The Hoover part I've been waiting for turned up while I was out, so I reckon a spot of hoovering might be in order.

£7.50 I paid. For THIS. Thieving bastards.

Then pick Charlie up from school, meatballs for dinner, and the usual friendly negotiations regarding who goes first on the Playstation.

 Bloody Playstation . . .

Like I always say to Charlie, going on it isn't the problem, it's the coming off. But I tell you what, if I could have sat on the edge of that table talking to such lovely people about writing and books and stuff for hour after hour, I would never want to leave.

So, Charlie . . . I know how you feel, mate.


Currently reading:

Days without coffee: 29
Days without chocolate: 29
Days without biscuits: 29 . . . sort of . . .
LOOK AWAY wordcount: 28,002

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