Wednesday, July 16, 2008

News from the Book Launch

Last night was the long-awaited event at Waterstones Chichester which finally unleashed The Dog of the North onto an unsuspecting public. The evening was a great success in commercial terms--over 30 attendees and a similar number of books sold. It was also great fun: Greg Mosse interviewed me for 45 minutes or so and we covered a lot of ground. We went from the first book I could remember reading (Five Little Kittens*) through the writer who in real life invented the process by which sugar sticks to doughnuts**, to Jack Vance, Jane Austen and Patrick O'Brian.

I rounded off by reading a couple of my favourite passages from the book before signing a gratifying number of copies. All in all, a wonderful evening which everyone seemed to come away from having enjoyed themselves. With any luck pictures will be along in a day or two.

On Friday it's off to Cambridge to sign stock at Heffers Bookshop.

~ ~ ~

At the weekend I also spent some time on The Last Free City, which now has a new and punchy opening scene. I said last night, only partly in jest, "when in doubt, throw in a swordfight", and that's what I did here. This is a bloody scene which gets a dangerous antagonist on the page from the start, and with any luck generates a narrative momentum to carry the reader into the rest of the story.

*Mrs Tibbetts, going shopping
Wasn't pleased enough to purr
"Kitties, please!" she said quite crossly,
"How can Mummy brush her fur?"


**A prize will be awarded to the reader who can identify this seminal figure in the history of both science-fiction and the obesity epidemic

5 comments:

David Isaak said...

I know the answer to the sugar-and-doughnuts question, but I had to Google around to find it! (It was too inriguing to let it sit.)

On other fronts, The Dog of the North arrived today!

Alis said...

Hi Tim - glad the launch was a success - how fab to be interviewed by Greg Mosse! I'm jealous!
As for swordfights when in doubt, was it Raymond Chandler who said 'if the action slows, have somebody pull out a gun'?

Tim Stretton said...

David, glad to hear the Dog has made it across the pond. That's pretty quick. You'll have to bring it over with you in September and we can have a mutual signing...

Alis, Greg is a first-rate interviewer. He's such a pro that he makes the interviewee seem like one too. I've also got an interview with Vicky Warren in a couple of weeks.

Swordfights are even better than guns, because the outcomes are slower. It takes a lot more work to make a gunfight interesting.

Matt Curran said...

Excellent, Tim

Glad to hear the launch went well. Launches can be a little nerve-wracking - like organising a big party and hoping everyone will turn up, but it sounds like you had fun.

Agree completely with swordfights - much more interesting than guns (I was going to get all geeky and quote from Star Wars... but I won't). Having said that, my new project has no sword-fights whatsoever - so I've resorted to fisticuffs!

Anton Sherwood said...

My hi-skool English teacher was a Mrs Tibbetts. Do I win anything?