I’ve been really rubbish at setting up book signings. When Della came out – 18 months ago! – I went to lots of bookshops and introduced myself and often they mentioned doing a signing and took my number, but they never called and I never bothered to follow it up.
Partly I think it was the fear of being the desperate-looking author alone at the table, customers trying not to catch my eye, and partly it was pure laziness. But then Holly at Waterstone’s Arndale contacted me and not only was she really nice and enthusiastic about me coming in, she also pinned me down to a time. So last Saturday, Harry and I got the train into Manchester for My First Signing.
From the first time I mentioned it, Harry had said he wanted to come with me, but after about fifteen minutes he said, “I thought there was going to be a crowd and you’d be signing autographs…” Ah. Harry thought I was Jacqueline Wilson. He still enjoyed himself – I think (he did quite a lot of shopping!) – but he now realises I’m not as famous as he thought. Nowhere near.
After the signing, David and Joe joined us – Joe said, “Middy book!” when they saw me in Waterstone’s – and we went to Las Iguanas for dinner (Harry’s wanted to go there since we did his Brazil project and I told him there’s a mural of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue on the wall).
Then we staggered through the Christmas shoppers and drove back home. I didn’t sell very many books (although a couple of the lovely friends who came to see me bought some!), but I really enjoyed the experience.