Saturday, September 13, 2014


So, I ought probably to have mentioned before now that my new book, Thirteen Chairs is out (it was published by David Fickling Books on September 4th - hurrah!) And on Wednesday we (only slightly belatedly) celebrated the fact with a launch party at lovely Heffers bookshop here in Cambridge. Lots of my most favourite people in the world were kind enough to turn out for it and my initial nervousness gradually melted away.

David Fickling said a few quiet words. I mumbled for a bit, mostly thanking people. As you do. And then the very lovely and delightful Bookshop Band played their song inspired by my book. It was spine tinglingly good. I'll prove it to you later, just as soon as I figure out how to embed video in a blog post (might be a while then).

(Apologies to Beth Porter for the obscuring of her head in that photo).

After that, the band played on with a selection of their other amazing and beautiful songs inspired by other people's books, and I cunningly signed some copies of Thirteen Chairs while seated very close to this cake (created at no great notice by the wonderful Esther Cooper-Wood) ...

... thus ensuring that whether or not anyone was buying the book it would always look like people were queuing.

It all went really rather well. At least I had a fabulous time of it. I was especially touched that my excellent ex English teacher from when I was about eleven years old, Gill Ball, had made it along from Leicester. I'd mentioned her on the book jacket of A Boy and a Bear in a Boat and eventually found her address and got a copy to her. After that we'd exchanged a couple of phone calls, but this was the first time we'd seen each other in, I think, 32 years. Gill doesn't really remember me from my schooldays - I was just one pupil among very, very many, and I was a shy, quiet child, I can understand how I might be easily forgotten - but she teached me how to do English goodly, and I'll always be grateful for that.

I was also beyond delighted that my oldest friend in the world, Tim Clarke, got along from Swindon with almost all of his family, despite the best efforts of the M25 to keep them away.

And, at some point, Tim said something funny (the details of which escape me entirely now) resulting in this, perhaps my favourite photograph of me ever...

It was a joyous evening. I hope everyone else who was there enjoyed themselves at least a fraction as much as I did.

Oh, and we sold a few books...

A very enjoyable and memorable evening indeed. "joyous" a very appropriate word indeed!

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Got the book yesterday ;) - You signed it! Also, I got A Boy and a Bear in a boat a few years back. I think I asked what your cat was named! "Socks" or "Calcatines" in Spanish isn't it?

-edit Socks is the name translated into English right?

From what I've read so far, the book is grat! Got to page 96 so far. Can't wait to read more.

Also, my name is Joseph.

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