Book launch was hot, hot, hot!

My book launch has to be one of the hottest events of the year! With temperatures hitting 30C during the day, I wondered if anyone would turn up for the send-off of my latest book, A Novel Solution. I shouldn’t have worried, friends and family crowded into the picturesque Mostly Books bookshop in Abingdon to help me celebrate.

What happens at a book launch? Just about whatever the author wants to happen, I guess. And I wanted family, friends, fizz, the minimum of formalities and the maximum of cake. And I got my wishes!

Thanks to everyone who turned out on such a hot evening. Thank you especially to Sarah at Mostly Books who hosted the event and kept everything flowing smoothly. And thank you, everyone who has been with me during the creation and publication of A Novel Solution. As I said at the time, I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you, everyone!

I’ll leave you with a selection of photographs to give you a flavour of the fun evening.

Get your mitts on it!

It’s here! Look out for A Novel Solution, my second comic fiction, out in paperback this very week, published by the lovely people at SRL Publishing.

What’s it about? It’s about Trish who is facing a midlife crisis, as her personal and professional lives fall apart. In a bid to grab back control, she decides to reinvent herself… as, of all things, a novelist.

Easy, right? Wrong! After a wobbly start, things seem to be looking up when the rookie writer hooks up with self-styled celebrity author Amanda, who agrees to mentor her. But everything is not as it seems in Amanda’s gloomy house in the woods…

Readers’ verdicts include:

‘Hugely enjoyable and entertaining.’

‘I had high hopes of this book … I was NOT disappointed.’

‘A cracker.’

There’s comedy, mystery, drama. There’s an atmospheric ochre pit. And there’s a stray kitten. What more could you ask for?

A Novel Solution is available all over the place, in bookshops and online.

And if by chance it’s not on the shelves of your favourite indie bookshop (mine is the excellent Mostly Books in Abingdon), please go in and order it. You’ll probably come out with several other books in your backpack, but that’s all to the good. And great timing, as next week (15-22June) is Independent Bookshop Week. Our friendly local booksellers are precious!

See how excited I am to welcome the paperback!

Even toothache couldn’t keep me away!

The weather people were forecasting a thunderstorm; the card reader was refusing to co-operate; and a dental appointment had left me on painkillers, with one hamster cheek and a rapidly blooming bruise. What else could go wrong with my talk at Abingdon Library, the library’s first live event since you-know-what?

Nothing, as it turned out. Or, at least …. I’ll come back to that. In the event, by the evening of 9th September the weather had calmed down, my Elephant Woman look had subsided, and the wonderful library staff swiftly found a way round the whole card reader issue.

Awaiting our author!

In fact, I can’t speak for everyone else but for me the whole evening was a treat. It was so good to meet people in the flesh, so to speak. There was a decent turnout: some loyal friends, plus a gratifying number of new faces, all of them friendly, I’m happy to report. People listened attentively to my rambling thoughts on writing, publishing and promoting a comic novel, as well as memories of my days as a comedy scriptwriter for BBC radio and television. They laughed in the appropriate places when I read a short extract and asked thought-provoking questions that were within my ability to answer at the end. And afterwards I signed copies. Even the wine was excellent. Phew!

Even the wine was excellent!

So thank you, Abingdon Library, especially Jessica Williams and Jane Dulieu, for entrusting me with the honour of kicking off your new season of live events. Thank you to the award-winning Mostly Books for supplying copies of Note to Boy, especially Jack for doing his best with that pesky card reader link. Most of all, thank you to everyone who attended.

And that final thing to go wrong? I don’t have any photographs of me in full flow. The ones here were taken by me beforehand. But take it from me, I looked super glam and was hilarious, the packed room was in stitches, and everyone had the best time.

If you’re connected to an Oxfordshire library and would like me to come along and talk to you about me and Note to Boy, please do get in touch via this website. I’ll try to remember the photos next time!