Authors in bed.

Read Regional and the Durham Book Festival are coming together with the Durham Radisson Hotel to . . . well, I don’t know if I’m allowed to let the cat out of the bag yet. Suffice to say that there was a photoshoot yesterday afternoon and it involved hotel rooms, beds, and authors in dressing gowns.

That’s all I’m saying for now. Let your imaginations do the rest.

Oh, and you’ll just have to wait if you want to see the pictures.



Summer Reads

North Tyneside is launching their ‘Summer Reads’ campaign this week and guess what? DRY SEASON is one of the two books they’ve chosen.

So I’ll be at North Shields Library on Thursday 21st at 7pm to talk about DRY SEASON and read a few passages from it – to encourage people to pick it up and give it a go. I’m pretty sure people won’t be disappointed if they invest a little time in reading my book and it’s great to have another opportunity to spread the word.

The idea is that over the summer, people will read DRY SEASON or THE GUARDIAN ANGEL’S JOURNAL by Carolyn Jess-Cooke (or, even better, read both) and then in September there’ll be an opportunity to talk to us about the books at greater length. Of course, if anyone wants to contact me before then, they’re more than welcome – I always like to hear from readers and there are plenty of ways to contact me via this blog, twitter, facebook etc.

Anyway, if you’re around, why not come along? There’s a £3 admission charge, but it includes a glass of wine, and there will be discounted books on sale.

summer reads pdf

Not Nearly Famous

I was at Morpeth library last night to talk about my books, and you wouldn’t believe the queues to get in. I mean, they were lining up around the corner, pitching tents, lighting barbecues . . . no, wait, that’s not right.

Actually, the turn out was small, just a handful, but I’m pretty used to that. Publishers use whatever marketing budgets they have to promote certain books/authors, and the rest of us are left to forge our way through the gloom, trying to promote ourselves. I’m lucky and grateful to have the support of New Writing North and Read Regional behind me, but there are many other authors who don’t even have that.

So the reality is that no one knows who I am, and without any kind of national or international promotion, it’s just a case of doing whatever I can to make people aware that my books exist – and then trying to persuade them to pick them up.

I know I’m not alone in this.

Anyway, the library staff at Morpeth were very welcoming – there was even complimentary wine and food which was great – and the handful of people who came along were interested, interesting, and good company. Now there are a few more people out there who have heard of me and who have copies of my books, and if they tell other people . . .  well, yesterday Morpeth, tomorrow THE WORLD  (*cue evil laughter* Mwa ha ha ha ha).

But you know what? The intimate events are fun and I’d rather have a small group of people who are keen than a large group of people who look like they’d rather be somewhere else.

Author Event Hartlepool

There’s always a niggle. Right there, at the back of my mind. It’s these author events, see. I enjoy doing them; I love talking about my books and I especially enjoy the Q&A that comes afterwards – it’s great to have the opportunity to interact with readers. But before it starts, there’s always the niggling worry that no one’s going to turn up and then I’d feel all unwanted and dejected.

It’s happened before.

However, on this occasion all was good. People came. They listened. They smiled when I joked. They asked great questions. They even bought books . . . which will make my publisher happy.

So thank you to Denise and everyone at Hartlepool library who organised the event, and thanks to all those who came along. I had a great time.

I even had the miracle of sat-nav to help me find my way home. There was a moment when I thought the technology had let me down, but then it did its job and led me safely past the place where HMS Trincomalee is moored and on to home. Actually, I was tempted to jump out and take a few pictures of the ship – a navy leda-class sailing frigate – but it was getting late and maybe it’s somewhere to take the children during the summer holiday. God knows those long, balmy days (uh-huh) are going to need filling.