Sign Here

A large crowd is gathered outside Waterstone’s Carmarthen store. The last time I saw huge numbers of people outside a book store, John Barrowman was being mobbed in Borders whilst, a couple of doors down, there were queues round the block and bouncers keeping an eye on the hungry hordes waiting to meet Katie Price. Since I’m about to wander in to ask for my first book signing, the sight of all those people is a tad daunting. If only I’d remembered to get a Day-Glo makeover first.

Getting closer we see that it’s not Captain Jack Harkness or Jordan pulling in the punters, but Michael Jackson or rather a Michael Jackson lookie-likie, who isn’t actually in the store, but on a stage outside. Something to do with the Carmarthen Merlin Festival celebrating ‘the legend and lore of Carmarthen’s ancient links with Merlin.’ Eh?

I take a few deep breaths, get a pat on the back from Tom and, clutching a business card and a copy of Turning the Tide in my shaking hands, brace myself to do battle. ‘Yes,’ says Tim (forever known now as Lovely Tim) as soon as I’ve explained why I’m there. ‘It’s a great-looking book, beautifully produced and it’s mass market fiction. We’d be happy to arrange a signing. Have you done one before?’ My brief burst of elation collapses; this must be where they suss me out as being a complete novice and kick me out the store, but no, Lovely Tim is kindness itself. ‘Don’t worry,’ he says, ‘We’ll look after you. We’ll put you in a good seat and send you lots of customers.’

I feel like weeping with gratitude, but hold it together whilst we arrange a date:

Saturday 2 October 12 - 2pm Waterstone’s Carmarthen.

Fantastic! And huge thanks to Lovely Tim for making it so easy for me.

Painting is Totem Gymreig by Tom Tomos


Pauline Barclay said…
Fantastic! I just wish I could be there for a signed copy, not only a signed copy of your fist book, but your first book signing! Enjoy every minute you deserve too. And don't forget to Blog about it afterwards...please! x
Fennie said…
Oh well done Chris! So pleased for you. Do make sure you get some lunch though! I am sure you'll look better without the day-glo!

(But if Michael Jackson can do Carmarthen and Merlin - can't you do something too - but better obviously). Ask them about the story of Merlin's mermaid wife!)
Frances said…
Wow, Chris, this is terrific! Smart Tim, I would call him, for grabbing you before Borders did.

Fall is a perfect time for book readings. Is there a local newspaper/radio station that could also promote that evening? Will your publisher have a rep along for the evening? Will there be a big supply of TTT on hand? Also remember to have water on hand, and see if the book shop will spring for a vase of flowers. Sharpie pens?

Aren't I nosy? I am just thinking about various readings I've been to, and remembering the variables.

Best wishes to you!

Tom's picture is another image that truly took hold of my eyes.

Flowerpot said…
Oh well done you Chris - I would ahve been terrified, but needs must. Will be thinking of you on Oct 2nd xxx
Pondside said…
Good for you! It's the best time of year for a signing, and you'll be mobbed.
Debs said…
Well done you. I'm sure your first book signing will be a great success. I wish I could come too.
Kath said…
I'm guessing when writers have to go in and ask if they can do a signing, it's the first time they've ever been hesitant about walking into a bookstore!

Congratulations on getting up the courage to go in and ask, and I'll try and make it there from my corner of Wales!
Cottage Garden said…
The Lovely Tim obviously recognises talent when he sees it wahay! Good luck with the book signing Chris - I'm sure it will be one of many. Just sorry I can't come along.

Off to have a good catch up now - love your new-look blog by the way!

elizabethm said…
Great news! I am sure you will be all calm and collected and friendly and warm and just the ideal signing person. Why is the other half of Wales so hard to get to from up here? It would be easier if you were in England!
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks Pauline - I do hope you're feeling better now.

Fennie, thanks... off to try Swansea and Cardiff at the weekend.

Frances, thank you for all the hints - will try to remember before I do it... not sure I would be safe with a vase of flowers close to hand though!

Fp, all the scary things we do!!

Pondside, well I can always put my bookshope experience to use and do a bit of shelf stacking if no one turns up.

Kath, welcome and I hadn't thought of that but it's true! I'm trying to arrange other signings too, but I appreciate your kind thought.

Jeanne, good to see you - thanks for your comment about the blog, but I don't have your visual flair - yours always looks ravishing.

Elizabeth - it's very frustrating isn't it? I'm an hour away from any station too!
Lane said…
Bless Lovely Tim for being so lovely. I'm sure your first signing will be a bit daunting but with Lovely Tim steering the peeps your way, it'll be fine. And how lucky are those people. Wish I could be there Chris.

I hope you can find a Lovely Tim equivalent in more shops. Good luck and well done m'dear for going out there and doing it. You're a star:-) x
Oh you little star! Well done you.

I am very impressed.
That's the part of being a writer today that I would have been shaking in my boots about but it has to be done.

I doubt I shall be around as the surgery is imminent but if I am, I PROMISE to be there.

Exmoorjane said…
I think Waterstones are great for being nice to local authors. I happened to mention to the chap behind the till at our local branch that over there was my husband's book.... Next time I went in they had put it on the Waterstones Recommends shelf with a fabby write-up.
Fabulous news re your signing - hope you get the hordes! xxxxxx
HelenMHunt said…
How brilliant. Take a deep breath and enjoy it.
her at home said…
oh you brave woman.I am sure you will wow them all.
Good Luck and I hope you get lots of books to sign.

Best wishes,
Gosh, how exciting, Chris! You must tell us when, so we can all make our way to Carmarthen in droves, weilding our copies (although scrolling down I see there might be a possibility of Cardiff, which is much more do-able). Well done for braving it - can't have been easy. I'm sure it'll be well worth it, though.
Cara Cooper said…
Well done Chris, I wish we were closer, I'm sure it'll be a triumph. Nice to have him give those great comments about the look and feel of the book too. Good old choclit!
sheepish said…
Absolutely brilliant, well done you and intelligent Tim for spotting a winner.
Posie Rosie said…
Oh fantastic, and really exciting....don't be daunted, enjoy, just wish the queue was nearer and I would be there!!
Chris Stovell said…
Hi Lane, I wish there were more Lovely Tims out there but it's a good start! I wish you could be there too.

Oh, BSM, thanks - but get yourself sorted out. Good luck for forthcoming surgery, you brave girl.

Jane, I think I struck particularly lucky there, but it was a good start and it's encouraging to hear about your local Waterstones promoting hubby's book. Well done them.

Helen, I think I'll be hyperventilating! Thank you.

HaH, Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Jarmara, welcome and thank you very much.

LBD, I'm working on Cardiff so will let you know - fingers crossed!

Cara, thank you - yes it was nice to have those comments about the book itself. As you say, well done Choc Lit!

Sheepish, aw! Thank you.

Posie, I wish you were closer too! Wouldn't it be nice to have a blogging meet up as well? Thanks for your comment.

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