Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Windmill Party

On Monday I went to London to do some book things. I was slightly nervous and somehow got to Liverpool Lime Street an hour early (perhaps the fact that I've yet to move my car clock back may have had something to do with it). While I was on the train, Windmill Books published a blog introducing me and A Song for Issy Bradley.

When I got to London I made my way to the Penguin office for some filming in the media suite with the marketing team. I'm afraid I wasn't very cool and asked if I could take a photograph of the Penguin sign. The receptionist said, 'no' but she was joking (I hope). I'd been given a list of questions so I could prepare, but sitting under the hot lights, in front of the green screen it was suddenly difficult to remember what I'd been planning to say. I think it went okay, but if I was too boring they can always add dinosaurs or zombies or a car chase, later!

Afterwards I went to Random House for 'drinks around the photocopier.' I thought there might be about six people around the metaphorical photocopier, ten at a push - I'm not sure how many of us there were, but it would have taken a massive photocopier to accommodate us. It was lovely, if somewhat overwhelming, to meet so many enthusiastic people!

Soon it was time to leave for the Hutchinson/Windmill Books party at The Arts Theatre Club. On arrival I was introduced to the Windmill of Fortune, with Helen Dunmore, Lindy Woodhead, Adele Waldman and me on its arms. The windmill was spun to decide who would read first (*cough* it was actually a fix). Nick Harkaway read too - he was added once there was a free arm! Adele and Nick gave wonderfully funny readings and I nabbed copies of their novels - The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. and Angelmaker. I've already read Helen's excellent novel The Lie and Lindy's book Midnight Mother, the story of Kate Meyrick will be published in 2014.

There were piles of books everywhere and so I helped myself (it's okay, it was allowed). There were also rather a lot of journalists, bloggers and book people, and some very nice canapés.

Here I am, next to the fabulous tombola, reading a couple of scenes from A Song for Issy Bradley. I'm reading from a print-out, something I won't need to do again because I now have a real book to read from (*hooray*). 

When the event finished I went out for supper with my editor which was lovely because although we've talked a lot on the phone and via email, it was only the second time we'd met in person. 

No trip to London would be complete without the obligatory box of doughnuts for the children. And of course, as the children hadn't actually given me a list, I didn't quite get the selection right. Still, they were glad to see me (and the doughnuts) and, after a gorgeous train ride through autumn-tinted countryside, it was good to be home.

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