Friday, 20 December 2013

Ten Questions - Luca Veste

One of the best things to emerge from Merseyside since John Aldridge moved to Oxford in the mid eighties,  Luca Veste joins us on Ten Questions. A crime writer, psychology student and blogger (Luca not John Aldridge) he organised and edited the Off The Record Anthologies and his dead good debut crime novel - Dead Gone is available now as an e-book with the paperback out in January 2014.




Cider or Lager?

Lager. Cider is for drinking in parks when you're underage. And don't come at me with those fruity things. You're drinking alcopops. Just give me a bottle of Hooch instead. 


What's your latest book about?


A serial killer is stalking the streets of Liverpool, using infamous psychological experiments to kill his victims. DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi are tasked with tracking him down.

 
Tranmere or Everton?

This is like asking which is better - being punched in the head or the nethers. Both are bad choices to be given! I'll go with Tranmere, purely to annoy my bluenose brother.

 
Where do you write?

Mostly in the living room, laptop on knee, after midnight when the house is quiet. I also have an office I use (mostly when I'm editing). I've tried writing in public, but usually don't get very far.

 
Rebus or Frost?

Rebus all day. He is probably the best detective creation in recent history.


Is your writing inspired in any way by real events or is it all made up?

Some parts are lifted directly from my own experiences or people I know. Most is completely made up though. I don't know any serial killers... which was a shame when it came to research. All the psychological experiments in the book are real though.


Dennis Potter or Harry Potter?

Not having read any Harry Potter (I prefer my YA to be a bit more dystopian), I'll go with Dennis Potter. The Singing Detective is pretty good.

 
Physical book or e-book?

Physical book, but not for the reasons others usually say. I have OCD, and can't handle odd numbers. It's much easier to read physical books and finish reading on an even number, rather than ebooks and their odd percentages. I make an effort to read ebooks I really want to read, such as The Bailout (when is that sequel coming, Wade?!)

Facebook or Twitter ?

Twitter these days. Although having any kind of conversation is difficult with the 140 character limit. It is a great place to share sporadic thoughts and connect with people you probably couldn't via Facebook.

Where can we find you?
Site is www.lucaveste.com 
and I'm on Twitter @LucaVeste

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Back in the allotment

Devoid of anything more important, relevant or interesting to say, I take you back to the allotment




The strawberries have been  replanted which took forever to do. But I now have 68 strawberry plants which should provide about 20-30 kilos of strawberries in a three week period next june.




Looking the other way and into the sun, doesn't look like I've done much recently but there's been a lot of digging. The sprouts and parsnips are ready and going down well and there's about 20 spring cabbage plants under the netting.

Apart from backache from the digging, it's not gone that badly I don't think. It should be a lot easier to manage next year as it's nearly dug over and it's fairly tidy. The shed and greenhouse need sorting out so that'll keep me busy over the winter.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Short Review - From a Buick 8 - Stephen King





This book (and many others such as Desperation) is why I keep reading Stephen King. It almost reads like a camp-fire tale or Halloween scare story. A Buick rolls up at a gas pump, the driver wanders off never to be seen again, and the local law enforcers keep the car in a shed. Pretty standard fare, except the car boot is some kind of gateway to another dimension.

A real page turner where the suspense builds, you're left wanting not only more of the story but more of the characters' lives. I'd have been happy to read another thousand pages of back-story about the town created and the people there. Definately ranks up there with his best books.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Press play on tape

Another flashback to the eighties.

This time, early computer games. No hard drives or CD's back then, if we wanted to play Pac Man or Gorf, we had to use these...




You'd put the tape in, press shift + run stop (or whatever the Spectrum/Amstrad equivalent was) wait ten to twenty minutes then shout your best eighties swear word when it failed to load.

Most modern games with their Film tie-ins and expensive budgets still, in my old man opinion, don't match the playability of some of the older games... (cue list of my favourite eighties games that haven't been remade)


Wizball


You played a bouncing ball, or was it a cat, something witch related anyway. The game involved filling cauldrons with different colours to make a third colour. Really original game with power ups, a bonus in between level game and some cracking music.

Problem was, I only had a black and white TV so couldn't get the colour match right and never got past the second level.




Elite


Okay so they tried to remake it, but it never matched the original. Bit of space trading and spaceship dog-fighting that would keep you at it for hours. Suffered a bit from slow down when there was too much on the screen and how many times did I crash while trying to dock? Still a classic though.





Manic Miner


The original platform game. One of the forerunners of Mario, Sonic and the others. I played the Vic 20 version, The Perils of Willy and spent many hours timing jumps, getting frustrated and never getting past a level that had totally out of scale balloons in.





Boulderdash


Again fairly original. A massive blocky-sprited miner collects flashing gems from a mine while avoiding and even creating rockfalls. Don't sound too impressive but as I remember time would fly when playing it. You could also skip levels once you'd completed them so you didn't have to keep playing the same thing over again. I downloaded it on the Wii a few years back, still played well though but felt a tad outdated.





Jetpac

Take a spacesuit wearing astronaut, a massively under scale rocket that needs refuelling and space detritus / aliens that float in diagonal waves and you have Jetpac. After 4 or 5 levels of refuelling you got a brand new, snazzy rocket in which to carry on taking off, landing and refuelling. I actually finished this on the Vic 20, got through all 8 or 10 levels. Disappointing thing was, it just went back to the start in some sort of infinite loop.




Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Ten Questions - Nick Quantrill

Hailing from Hull, the home of white telephone boxes and that bloke from The Housemartins, Nick Quantrill has just had his third Joe Geraghty novel released. With his forthcoming appearances at The Hull Heads Up Festival Crime Event and Icelandic Noir Festival looming, Nick takes some time out to answer Ten Questions.






Kickstart or Why don't you?



I genuinely don’t remember “Kickstart”, but I always wanted to be in the cool “Why Don’t You?” gang. It reminds of me of warm summers, doing nothing but playing football on the nearby field.


What's your latest book about?


“The Crooked Beat” is my third Joe Geraghty novel. Geraghty is now a former Private Investigator looking for a new purpose, but when his brother finds himself mixed up with a missing consignment of smuggled cigarettes, it’s time to get back to work.


Curry or Chinese?


Neither. I’m strictly a steak and chips man if I’m found in such restaurants.


Where do you write?


I’m not fussy. Usually, I’m in an armchair in my living room, trying to block out my daughter’s nursery rhymes CD. It’s all fair game. I’ll write anywhere. I’ve trained myself not to need silence.


Hull City Tigers, Surrey Lions or Nottingham Panthers?


DO NOT START ME ON THIS! Football clubs are rooted in communities and although players, managers and owners come and go, the club’s identity shouldn’t. It saddens me to think my club could potentially throw away over 100 years of history on a marketing whim. Sport in this country is not based on franchises. If it was, I’d walk away.


Is your writing inspired in any way by real events?


My work is based in my home city of Hull, so I think it’s natural that the reality of the place bleeds into the books - I certainly hope it does - but I’m not deliberately looking for real live events to kick-start a novel.


How many yards in a nautical mile?


Ha! It’s true that I have a GCSE in Nautical Studies, so I should have an idea what a nautical mile equates to. I did finish with a Grade G, so I’m clearly stupid. I think a nautical mile is a little shorter than a regular mile, but don’t quote me on that…*runs mental calculation*…3,000 yards?


Physical book or e-book?


I’m awkward, as I like both. I spend a lot of time at home with my daughter, so I tend to download a fair bit. If I’m reading for research, I like to be able to flick between pages and make notes.


Who'd win in a fight - Geraghty or Rebus?


I want to back my man, but Rebus is a seriously nasty piece of work when he gets going…


Where can we find you?


Usually sat in my armchair writing or watching Hull City Association Football Club. Failing that, www.nickquantrill.co.uk



Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Update

Little update of some book stuff.


Walter Conley's Katherinehepcat website has reviewed Seven Daze

A local arts magazine, Artsbeat, interviewed me for their August issue. Now the September issue is out, the interview is online here


Allotment sweetcorn's ready to eat as well. Bonus.



Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Ten Questions - Pete Sortwell

Whether it's Village, Office or Govenment, Pete sorts out the idiots so you don't have to. A prolific writer, his work spans not only comedy, but also tackles more serious subjects, as seen in his novel So Low So High. He lives in Northampton which is a bit like Southampton but without the sea.





Tiswas or Swap Shop?
 
I have no idea. I’m an 80’s child so it was more Go live and CDUK, maybe a bit of Funhouse but I think that was on in the week.


What's your latest book about?
I’ve actually just released two diary books, one is about an expectant father who finds himself with a pregnant girlfriend he didn’t have a month ago and the second is the follow up which Is about a father in the first three months of his new terrifying journey (Diary of a Hapless Father). It’s written in diary form, which is something I always wanted to do after reading Adrian Mole all those years ago.


Sonic or Mario ?

Mario AND sonic and the winter Olympics.


Where do you write?
Sitting on my pet sofa. His name is Jeff.


Chorlton or the Wheelies?

I’m lost.


Is your writing inspired by real events or does it come from a dark place in your head?

I think it’s a bit of both, a bit of reality and then, in some cases, there’s a bit of my worse nightmare thrown in their too. Plus a little bit humour in the form of ‘how funny would it be if it were happening to someone else’


Steve Coogan or Steve Davis?

Ahhhhhhhaaaaaaa! Steve Coogan, hands down.


Physical book or e-book?

For selling? E-book. For reading, I still prefer the paper ones, although I don’t get the time to read these days unfortunately.


Prisoner Cell block H or H from Steps?

These questions, Charlie…


Where can we find you?

Twitter: @petesortwell

Friday, 30 August 2013

Interview at Author Interviews

Fiona McVie interviewed me over at Author Interviews here.

As that was a short update, here's a pic of my allotment pumpkin.




Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Ten Questions - Jackie Buxton

Author, blogger and Chase Magazine book reviewer, Jackie Buxton, joins us today for Ten Questions. Jackie helped me years ago by assisting with my grammatical shortcomings on a short story I was submitting, so it's no surprise that she's helping out (far more needy) others with her latest story.





Jackanory or Ballamory?

Jackanory, I’m afraid, although I have lived through Ballamory with my children, the youngest of which was a big fan. I remember having to screech the car to a halt in a village in North Wales driving back from holiday once, because the row of brightly painted terraced houses was: Ballamory. Photo time!

What’s your latest book about?

I’ve contributed a story to the Stories for Homes anthology, the brain child of Sally Swingewood http://storiesforhomes.wordpress.com/about-sally/ 

Submissions were invited on the theme of the ‘home’ and a wide range of stories were chosen for inclusion. Some are really poignant so get your hankies out! My contribution, A Life with Additives, inspired by a tour of one of the few working mills in Britain, was a bit more frivolous. I was totally wedded to the owner’s dedication to the art of producing ‘real’ flour, but when I bought a, admittedly, large bag and little change came back from a tenner I couldn’t help being concerned for the mill’s financial viability -  who would buy this flour on a regular basis? And that’s where my down-trodden character, Shelley, and her disgruntled bread-making came from.
All proceeds from the book go to Shelter, a no-frills charity which has been working tirelessly for homeless people since 1966. The electronic version of Stories for Homes is available here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stories-for-Homes-ebook/dp/B00E8767XU/ and the soft back is due to be released in the next few weeks.

Chips and cheese or chips and gravy?
 
Chips and gravy please! Or, better still, chips and mushy peas – much to my children’s disgust.

Where do you write?
 
Hmmm. I like to mix it up a bit. I spend most of my time in my beautifully refurbished study, nose stuck to the screen - I’m still excited about my new Changing Room of a study even though the mammoth operation took place over six months ago - but when I’m editing I start off with a hard copy and take myself to different areas of the house and garden where, hold on to your hats, this summer it has actually been TOO HOT to write. I fervently believe that mixing it up helps you spot things you wouldn’t have found so easily if you hadn’t moved from the place where you scribbled down that first draft. It’s like the exercise whre pple write lke ths and you cn stll understand it – write in the same place and your brain sees what it saw before. This is a very handy belief because it also allows me to whisk myself off to one of about twenty coffee shops (if my loyalty cards are anything to go by) at the mere whiff of a re-write, where I can happily sit for hours aided by the odd cappuccino or two. 



Dinner for Two or Breakfast at Tiffany’s?
 
I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read Breakfast at Tiffany’s but Dinner for Two made me chortle, and I have a vague recollection of shedding a tear, so I’ll happily plump for that.

Is your writing inspired in any way by real events?
 
I think the honest answer to that is that it always is. I’m not sure I have the wackiest imagination, I’d struggle to write more than a paragraph of fantasy for example, but it does feel as though life spins my mind into a constant spaghetti of plot lines. I struggle to walk down the street without a, ‘What If?’ moment, noticing the way someone’s walking, speaking loudly into their phone, dreaming…

My novel, Glass Houses, came to me in a rush while I was working on a different story (now consigned to the bottom drawer) during an Arvon residential writing course but really, it was a couple of incidents prior to this which gave me the backdrop. When a charismatic lady spoke of her forgiveness for her son's killers in the 7/7 London bombings, I was struck by how much more powerful this was than the, nonetheless, very human reaction of anger. I also remember noticing the complete devastation in the face of the driver who caused several deaths in the Selby train crash, when he fell asleep at the wheel. The press demonised him but I couldn’t help thinking that this wasn't the face of a cold blooded killer, rather of someone who'd made a dreadful mistake. He'd punish himself for the rest of his life - maybe he didn't need us to do it too.
From this came Glass Houses, the story of a woman whose life implodes after sending a fatal text from the M62.  Pilloried by press and public, she is forced to swap most of what she previously held dear for a life in the public eye.  Many find her breathtaking honesty and humanity infectious but, unfortunately, not everybody approves.

What’s your ideal writing chair – armed or armless?    
 
Very dull answer I’m afraid, after years of physio on every muscle, limb, joint, it seems, in my body, (too much running but I’m addicted so resistance is futile) I no longer have the luxury of curling up in a soft, enveloping arm chair and scribbling in a notepad. These days I have to sit bolt upright, usually on my orthopaedically approved studio chair which does have arms but I never use them. Should I?

Physical book or e-book?

PHYSICAL BOOK! I need to turn the pages. I like to feel the cover, turn the book over to read the blurb. Most of my reading I do in the bath. And I can’t get excited about introducing any more screen time in my life. But, ahem, I understand other people feel differently and sometimes wish that I did when I’m removing shoes (can you imagine?) from my packing because my To Be Read pile is taking my suitcase over the 15 kilo limit. But, even if ‘they’ reduce the maximum luggage limit to two point five kilos, I can’t see this particular Luddite budging much before the last printing press is removed from the western world.

Prisoner Cell Block H or H from Steps?
 
Neither! I struggle to watch television, my mind wanders too much and I’d choose a film over a series any time (unless it’s Hussle, Homeland or Luther). And, like much on TV, I couldn’t bear the acting in Prisoner Cell Block H. I am a harsh critic I’m afraid. I remember my three sisters bedding down to watch Blake’s 7 on Monday nights and being staggered that they could physically watch the stilted acting - I can only have been about ten years old. Steps? I’m not great with poor singing either – sorry!

Where can we find you?
 
Ever seen the advert for a well-known brand of, err, coke where the woman gives five different methods for contact to her slightly uncomfortable new date? Well, here I go: I blog at http://jackiebuxton.blogspot.com; my website is www.jackiebuxton.moonfruit.com; I dip in and out of Facebook and love to tweet where I’m @jaxbees. Oh, and I’m also over at LinkedIn
 I fear I’m losing you now…

Friday, 9 August 2013

Very Short Review - Deadlock by Sean Black

Deadlock by Sean Black



I like a good thriller. Something where the pages disintegrate before your eyes and before you know it you've read the book in a few days. Deadlock was just this. Over too quickly yet so much happened. A good holiday or beach read.

Our hero, Mr Lock, must babysit a far-right witness inside the bleakest of penitentiaries the US has to offer. Of course the story moves on, twisting and turning through many surprises, it has to be said one was particularly unbelievable but I guess the story wouldn't have worked otherwise, ending in a fast paced climax.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Monday, 5 August 2013

Raspberry Ice Cream

This is sort of half an allotment update. Everything, weeds included, have grown quite well. One of the results of this has been more strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries than we could possibly eat. Along came a reduced Ice Cream Maker.

Actually, Ice Cream Maker is maybe bigging the thing up too much. Like all so called ice cream makers around the £20 mark, it's basically a food mixer with a freezable bowl underneath. You place the bowl in the freezer overnight and then mix the ingredients until makes a partially frozen mass of cream and other stuff. Partially Frozen Desert Maker would be a more accurate name, but I guess it don't sound half as sexy.

Anyway, the bowl frozen overnight, we treated ourselves Saturday to Raspberry (partially frozen) Ice Cream. Recipe as below, it really was just a case of mushing it all up then pouring into the bowl and letting it chug around for twenty minutes until it's a half-frozen mass of nearly ice cream.

8 oz raspberries
200 ml semi-skimmed milk
200 ml double cream
2 oz caster sugar.

Have to say, despite it not really being frozen enough for my liking, it was fantastic. I guess the sheer amount of raspberries made it so. It would cost about £6 in the shops to buy all these ingredients and end up with only a litre of the stuff, so it's by no means cheap.

As for the allotment, here's the sweetcorn. Nearly ready.



Friday, 2 August 2013

Review - The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

It's hard to know where to start. Seven books (I haven't read book 4.5 or the ones by other authors, just the main series), a million odd words and over six months of my life has been spent in the company of Roland of Gilead and his Ka-tet. Okay so I'm not the fastest reader, but after receiving the first four books for Christmas, I embarked on the quest that is reading the series.

Obviously for such a large series, I've tried hard to not give anything away or ruin anything. You won't find out what happens, but my thoughts on each book in relation to the story as a whole.

The first book, The Gunslinger, introduces us to Roland and his quest for the Dark Tower. I read the revised version so have no idea whether the original was a raw as everyone says. All I know is that it hooked me into Roland and his quest. The combination of Horror, Cowboy and Fantasy sounds unusual, but it works. You don't fully know what his quest is during the first book, I guess Mr King himself didn't fully know at that point, he just knew he had a big idea.

The second and third books see Roland gain followers/helpers who are drawn into this slightly odd world to help the quest. While certainly easier to read than the first book, these set us up well for the latter books. New characters are introduced and the best part of an epic this length is we really get to know the characters. Like most of Stephen King's work, it's the feeding of small bits of information of the world and the characters that really make these not only page-turners but also book-turners.

Book IV, Wizard and Glass - I already partially reviewed here.

V Wolves Of The Calla - My favourite of the series. Whether it's because Stephen King's writing has matured enough by the point he wrote it or it's just a fantastic plot I'm not sure. The book is in some ways a sidetrack to the quest, a town where one of each twin child is abducted every twenty or so years by 'Wolves.' Again, it's a long read and again you can't stop reading. So much so that I thought it seemed rushed, which is an odd thing to say about a 700 odd pages book.

The least two books, VI Song of Susannah and VII The Dark Tower was a turning point. For some reason, both these seemed far two long and contained certain events and a character (not going to say what or who) that just took me out of the story. Reading the last book became a chore in the end rather than the finale it should have been.

I suppose, as a whole I really enjoyed the series, despite the last two books. Maybe the last two books were really one book that had 1,000 too many pages in? I'm not sure as a lot did happen in those books, maybe it was the 'other thing' as I'll call it. Don't know. If I had the choice of going back to Christmas and reading 20 other books or The Dark Tower again, I'd chose this. Life after the Dark Tower is going to be unusual for a while. I've got a shed-load of books I've been wanting to read for six months and I reckon at some point later in the year I'll be reading book 4.5, just to see if it stays true to the fantastic middle segment of the series. I've also started to think of the cat as Oy and keep expecting it to say Ake, which I guess I'm not alone amongst Dark Tower readers as doing.






Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Vintage comedy interlude - The Dangerous Brothers

Mid 1980's: Duran pissing Duran and Wham everywhere. British comedy was at a turning point. It's hard to believe that less than thirty years ago, saturday night television comedy consisted of vast amounts of sexism, racism and mother-in-lawism, but it did. The spirit of punk bought with it a new wave of, erm, new wave comedians. The Young Ones, The Comic Strip presents and a few years later, Saturday Live then Friday Night Live.

With Ben Elton compering, and his political ranting style of comedy I'd never seen before, Harry Enfield and his various characters, and comedians from both sides of the pond. One of the comedians (Canadian Steven Wright) was responsible for the joke that led to this blog's title. - I bought some Batteries once, but they weren't included.

For me though the best bit was The Dangerous Brothers.





Suppose it was continuation of The Young One's characters that later went on to Filthy, Rich and Catflap and of course, Bottom.


 

If you haven't seen it, The Comic Strips' Mr Jolly Live next door is arguably their best comic work together, and it's got Nicholas bloody Parsons in it too. If you can be bothered to register, it's available on 4OD and no doubt also available at other, less official sites.



Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ten Questions - Craig Saunders

I thought I could type quickly, but Craig really does write vast amounts of books as you can see on his amazon page. I first came across Craig's future-based comedy thriller Spiggot, which was memorable for not only the poo Olympics but also a cracking story line.





Tiswas or Swap Shop?


Ha...I'm a TV snob and always will be. I don't watch TV anymore, but back in days of yore it'd be Beeb all the way, so, Swap Shop!


What's your latest book about?


It's a slightly odd supernatural horror, concerning a guy who reaches rock bottom and makes a fateful decision to move away from the high life in London to quieter shores, by the sea in Norfolk. They move to The Estate (cunningly, the title of the book), and discover a dark and terrible entity has taken it over.

That's the nutshell version. It's an intensely personal book, I think. I wrote it longhand (the only time I've ever done that) and there's a lot of myself in it. It's close to my heart, being my first horror novel. I think my publisher Crowded Quarantine Publications and the cover artist Jethro Lentle have done me proud. It will be out in Hardback, Trade Paperback and Digital formats Halloween 2013.


Star Wars or Star Trek?

Time was, I'd have said Wars, but now, with the benefit of hindsight it's got to be Trek. The depth of character, the humanism, the invention, world building, longevity...ooh, I could go on for hours about Trek and it's various interpretations, but in short, Trek all the way.


Where do you write?


I write in the MAN CAVE! Or, to be more accurate, the shed. It's a little better than a shed, but yeah...it's a shed. I write on the 'puter, freeze in the winter, boil in the summer. There's a toilet and the kitchen's not far, plus I can smoke in my shed. And, I've got a rug.

Here's a picture of THE SHED: 









Ninja Turtle or Touche Turtle?


Can't say I've ever seen Touche Turtle, but I know what it is and it seems cute. Ninja Turtles? Don't like them - too violent, especially the modern iterations. I like to keep my kids' off things that make them all fighty!


Is your writing inspired by real events or does it all come from a dark place in your head?


Honestly? Boring answer is, I'm just typing. Stuff comes out. I guess I lean toward the dark, but then horror's not really about the dark, is it? It's just contrast, I think, in a greater battle  between good and evil. I'm quite nice, really. I like nice people and happy endings...but horror lets those 'good' characters shine in a way that other genres sometimes don't.

Plus, I think I'm a fantasist at heart, and my horror, I think, is just an excuse for me to play mental cosplay.

Does that make sense? I don't think it does.

Hehe.

Read G.R.R. Martin's Rretrospective collections for better explanation of 'why horror'. But...(checks question again!) Sometimes it's inspired by places, more often, it's just me, typing and telling lies.


Grange Hill or Harry Hill?


Harry Hill. I hate angst.



 
Physical book or e-book?


Physical! I have a Kindle, but I have to admit, I'm not overly fond of it.


Prisoner Cell block H or H from Steps?



Ha...that's a tricky one. Never seen one, and I think H is the blonde guy? I guess H from Steps, because I think Prisoner Cell Block H is probably some kind of drama, and I'm allergic to all but kids' TV!



Where can we find you?


In real life, I'm a denizen of Norfolk. But in the virtual world, you can find me by typing in 'Craig Saunders' in Amazon, or, as craigrsaunders on blogspot and my FB author page, or @petrifiedtank on Twitter.

http://craigrsaunders.blogspot.co.uk/
http://www.facebook.com/craigrsaundersauthor
http://twitter.com/petrifiedtank

Monday, 22 July 2013

Bakewell Book Signing

Well, they were never going to be queueing around the block when I arrived. First book, first signing - it is, as everyone says, more a case of getting to know people and let the world know you exist.

I have to admit I was nervous in advance of it. I mean, apart from signing books, what exactly do you do at a book signing? Turns out that unless you've sold a few hundred thousand already, you wait patiently, talk to anyone who isn't avoiding you, hand out bookmarks and then sell a few.

The Bakewell Bookshop is at a corner of Matlock Street near the main roundabout.





I was in the window to the left of the picture just behind a little table. This ensured that as people walked by, they took a look in and read the poster on the window. There's a Bagpuss or Bakewell Tart joke in there somewhere, except the actual pastries are called Bakewell Puddings, but I suppose there's a joke there too.

After an hour or so of wishing the floor would open and swallow me alive, I sold some books. The first was to a very nice couple, who seemed interested in the story, and bought the book as a present for their friend. I suppose you never forget the first book you sign (I've signed a few others for friends, family, etc but obviously this was different). After that, the floodgates trickled open and at one point I even had someone waiting to talk to me.

Thanks to The Bakewell Bookshop for having me for the day, and for the Test Match updates, all in all it was a very enjoyable day.