Today finds me settling down to work after the busy life of personal appearances and book-signings. Good fun and great to speak with fans of my work from Hull, Leeds, Ilkley and Manchester (more to come). The Leeds gig (Waterstones, Albion Street) was particularly noteworthy.
When Nicky and I came out of one of the cross streets into Albion, I was rather surprised to see throngs of people—and I mean THRONGS . . . like, hundreds!—standing in line and facing up the street in the general direction of Waterstones. We didn't think anything of it for a minute or so but then, when the bookstore came in sight and we saw that the line ended (or began, depending on your point of view) at Waterstones' doors, I couldn't help but wonder. I turned to Nicky at exactly the same time as she turned to me and we both shook our heads. "Nah!" I said, fighting off a dumbass grin. And then, when I'd taken a second look and determined that these folks were, in the main, kids of around twelve to fifteen (some of them dressed up in full-body animal costumes), I kind of figured these were not fans of Pete Crowther's work, even the gentlest and most poignant examples of it . . . and certainly not of my Forever Twilight cycle and the deranged serial killer, Virgil Banders. When I turned again to Nicky, our smiles had disappeared. "Nah," we chorused, "definitely not." (Ah, it's always nice to go off-world for a time but somewhat sobering to return to Earth and its many disappointments.)
Turns out there was a second book-signing at Waterstones, Leeds that day . . . the second one being an online group called The Midnight Beast. And, as luck would have it, 99% of the line was there to buy their new book. The guys at the store had got my little table right next to the Beast's place but I had it moved up to the SF/Horror/Fantasy section. We did okay and I still managed to shift a good few books without having to stoop to hiding copies in the Cookery and Travel sections. Many thanks to those folks who took time out to come say Hi and maybe even buy a book. Great to see you.