I mistakenly thought yesterday was Hug an Author Day, which is why I can be seen invading authors Elizabeth Haynes and Rachel Abbott’s personal space in this photo. They each signed a copy of one of their books for me after giving a riveting talk about crime writing to an audience at Oldham Library yesterday evening. They shared a platform with author Daniel Cole, but he wisely avoided a photo opportunity with me. He probably feared I’d crack his ribs. I once hugged Val McDermid at the same venue. She’s never been the same since.
Remember, remember the fifth of November. I certainly will always remember that date as it was my first time sharing a platform with four other local authors at Oldham Library as part of last week’s ‘Love to Read’ events. I was as interested to hear what the other authors had to say as I was in speaking myself.
Suzanne Hudson, the lady who recently agreed to place six of my eight books on the shelves of Oldham Library, introduced us all to the audience and then we were up and running. I was going to speak off the cuff, but I’m glad I finally opted to write down all I wanted to say. As the first author considerably overran his allotted fifteen minutes, I was then able to discard a few paragraphs on the hoof when it was my turn so the other authors would all have enough time to speak.
This photo depicts me rummaging in my handbag for change whilst talking the hind legs off the lady buying Random Bullets from me. She also took a copy of Her demonic Angel as she told me that she enjoys reading short stories.
The photo on the left is of me being forced to hold a prop fan by the library admin, but at least it was marginally more sensible than the pink cardboard hat author Helen Durrant ended up with.
I’d only brought six of my eight books to the event. Delighted that Random Bullets was the book of choice bought by a few members of the audience. I had a gut feeling that it would be as big a favourite with the audience as it is for me. I had been toying with the idea of only bringing Random Bullets paperbacks to the event, but at least people could see the evidence that I’ve written a number of books and my other seven books aren’t mere figments of my overactive imagination. They looked great splayed out on the table in front of me. The last photo makes me look like a giant compared to Helen Durrant, but it is mostly due to perspective … I think. I’ll have several copies of my books left over from Oldham Libraries event to bring to my solo author event at Oldham Coliseum on 24th January 2017 at 1.15p.m. By then, I’ll hopefully be able to also bring along paperbacks of book nine, my current book, Holiday for The Hostile.
28th October 2016
I’m thrilled to have just received an email from Oldham Library to say they want to stock six of my eight books. I only sent them six. Maybe I should have sent all eight. I’ve been waiting for several months to hear their decision. I thought I would end up being disappointed, but instead, I’ve just received wonderful news; they want my books. They say they will buy a copy of each paperback and then see how they go with the readers. Fingers crossed that the readers of Oldham will love them.
This great news couldn’t have come at a better time as I’ll be talking at a ‘Meet your Local Authors’ event at 11am on 5th November at Oldham Library. Helen Durrant, Carol Talbot and Jo Harthan are the other authors who will be sharing a platform with me. I am having lunch with the other three tomorrow in The Naked Bean inside Oldham Library to discuss the event. I am still planning to wing it as I could talk all day about my books, not just the fifteen minutes allocated to me. Just ask the local taxi drivers and Tesco delivery men whether or not I can talk about my books. I will probably have to be dragged off the stage when my fifteen minutes (of fame?) are up. You see, I don’t get to talk to many people these days. I’m too busy writing books.
Update: Less than an hour after writing this post, I looked on my main blog at http://joymutter.com and discovered a message hidden amidst the spam asking me if I’d be interested in speaking on my own for an hour about my only non-fiction book, Living with Postcards, at Oldham Coliseum. It’ll be for a Full Circle over 50s event to be held sometime in early 2017. They’d even pay me to speak! Of course, I’d be interested. I can’t get used to all this excitement.
After we were both justifiably told off for talking by a lady at a writing group meeting last week, author Helen Durrant and I decided to meet up for lunch so we could catch up properly. I should really call her Helen H Durrant, but I usually leave out the H. Helen is a traditionally published author with seven crime novels under her belt. She wrote the Calladine and Bayliss series of crime novels. I recently finished reading the second of her DI Greco books, Dark Houses and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Helen hasn’t always been traditionally published. She started off as an indie author like me before being signed to Joffe Books.
Helen’s lived in the Oldham area for far longer than I have, yet I still classify myself as an Oldham author, despite having lived in Jersey for eighteen years and over thirty years in Kent. I’m proudly claiming my Oldham author rights, because I wrote and published all eight books since selling my home in Kent and moving to Oldham in 2012 after my back permanently gave out. In 2012, probably high on pain-killing drugs, I spontaneously opted to sell my house in Kent and buy a cheaper one in Oldham in order to write. I did this rather than claim disability benefits, which I’d have been perfectly entitled to claim. The jury is still out over whether this was a wise decision or not. It all hangs on whether I can survive or not as a writer with no other income or anybody else to rely on. It’s not looking good, ha! Whatever happens, I’m enjoying the indie author experience, despite never having worked so hard in my life.
Helen and I met yesterday inside the spacious cafe inside Oldham Library where we ate a simple lunch and talked mostly about anything related to books. She ordered her usual soup but I panicked and randomly ordered Welsh rarebit. There was much to talk about, as we’d not met for over six months. I don’t tend to talk to many people face to face as I’m so involved with my books, so chatting to Helen was a tonic. We could have chatted much longer, but hopefully we’ll meet for lunch again in the near future.
Helen and I are actually scheduled to meet again on 5th November back at Oldham Library, but this time it won’t be for a fun lunch. Helen Durrant, Carol Talbot, possibly another female local author and I, are all giving a talk at Oldham library at 11 a.m. about our books and our lives as authors. This’ll be my first shot at formal public speaking, but I usually have no problem telling taxi drivers, shop assistants, Tesco delivery drivers etc about my books. I’m planning to wing it, which could be dangerous. I might say something unintentionally controversial, because I’m prone to putting my foot in it. I’m too honest for my own good, which you’ll know if you’ve ever read my autobiographical Mug Trilogy.
My daughter, Zoe, will be travelling hundreds of miles from her home in Croydon to my house in Oldham to help carry the books I’ve designated for the book signing afterwards. I suffer from a permanent slipped disc, so carrying anything heavy, like a box of paperbacks, would prove problematic. My birthday is two days before the library event, so Zoe was planning to visit me anyway around this time, so I don’t feel too guilty. The photo is of Zoe, her husband Chris, my magnolia tree and me. Sorry for cropping off half of your head, Chris.
I’ve a feeling there mightn’t be many people showing up to listen to four authors on a Saturday morning in Oldham, especially as it’s Bonfire night that evening, but I could be wrong. Hopefully the woman who scolded Helen and me won’t be in the audience. I’d probably succumb to a fit of the giggles if I saw her sitting glaring at me. Above all, I must try my best not to embarrass my daughter when I stand up to speak, but it’s pretty much guaranteed.