It’s a fine, dry day and there’s an Italian market in the square outside Waterstone’s. Good for a book signing? ‘Bad,’ says Tim. The stalls are blocking the view of the shop and the fine weather’s keeping everyone outdoors. Hmm, that must be why they’ve only put one small poster up for my event, I mean why waste the Blu Tack?
Tim demonstrates handing off the marauding hordes
After much refolding of a black tablecloth and a rummage around for some books, I’m invited to take up my position at the author table somewhere between ‘fantasy and horror’, children’s books and a poster of the next author, Bobby ‘Iron Duke’ Windsor who’s signing on Monday. Once Tom, Lily, my lovely daughter, and her partner, Russ, are all sure I’m not going to run away, they leave me to it, taking it in turns to make sure I’m all right and bring me tea.
Very soon, I notice a small boy watching me. When he returns with his family I learn that he would like to be a writer. His method, he tells me, is to rewrite his favourite stories, adding his own twists and new characters – amazing! It’s a brilliant start to the event especially when his family buy my book. I’m so grateful I feel like packing up and going home!
But then I would have missed the folks who made such an effort to come to see me; writers and bloggers, Liz Fielding, Preseli Mags and Fennie of Corner Cupboard and Linda, fellow student on the OU creative writing diploma course, all come in, some with family, to say hello. It’s an absolute delight so see so many friendly faces! I am quite charmed too, by the young Asian guy, who makes a bee-line for my table, gives me a sweet smile and passes me a hand-written note which reads, ‘Apollo Cinema’, then asks if I know where it is.
The author and her lovely assistant, Lily
Alas, Tim’s prediction about customer numbers is proved correct; it’s a quiet day and my ‘target’ readers are thin on the ground. However, those I do spot are happy to chat to me, interested in what I do and one or two even buy a copy of my book; it’s a huge delight and privilege. I’m relieved and Tim’s happy too. He invites me back later in the year because he thinks Turning the Tide will make a wonderful Christmas present (it will, it will!). And, who knows, if I’m very lucky, next time I might even get my own poster...