Meeting readers

Patrick Gale was recently in our fantastic independent bookstore, The Falmouth Bookseller, at the beginning of his book signing tour. It was an unticketed event (unlike many on his tour), and when I was there, there was only a chap ahead of me. I had a short, but enjoyable conversation with Patrick about the book, the tour, Cornwall… I said that the tour must be a blessing and a curse, to which he replied, “but I get to meet my readers”

Writing can be an isolating choice, and reviews can be dispiriting but in a book signing tour, you’re generally going to meet those enthusiasts. It must feel very affirming, as well as doubtless meeting some contractual obligation with a publisher. In my own small way, it struck me, I love hearing that someone has appreciated (let’s not say enjoyed) my book “Hurt”. Imagine my delight yesterday when someone took the trouble to phone me having just put the book down. It’s not someone I know well, so it gave me even greater pleasure to hear someone not only praising the endeavour (and therefore recognising my passion and drive to make the book happen) but also the writing. That’s the little bit of me in the process. I felt that it was a real act of kindness to call me, and I appreciate it.

This week I’m still ploughing on with the words (15,000 to date) and have resisted going back and editing it. I need to look at some sermons today, as my priest needs to start ranting and thumping the lectern, and it’s beyond my experience (and I do want that to be authentic as I write it). I’m revising an article for Sailing Today (I’ve been told it will be in the next edition, presumably not the one that will be released in the next few days), and then I really want to tout for an article looking at the watershed of Savile/Operation Yewtree and the publication date of Hurt. Ideas floating around, which need to percolate and then be pinned down. I’m so enjoying writing at the moment.

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