Saturday, June 12, 2010

Books in Blighty

Monday 14th is going to be the start of a very busy week - I'm leaving the house, the kids, the cats and the gerbils to my longsuffering other half, and coming over to the UK for a programme of book signing and school visits. I can't imagine what that will be like - I haven't had that much time away from the hurly-burly of family life, with its endless round of fish fingers, homework and Dr.Who, since 1998! As one of my friends stoutly remarked, it will probably "do them all good".
I'm kicking off the week with the Puffin 70th birthday party in London. I'm panicking slightly about what to wear, especially after reading Amanda Craig's excellent blog about clothing for female novelists this week:
God forbid I should go "all arty craft about the neck and ankles". I've been picking the Bookwitch's brains as she has actually been to one of these events before. However, I think the fundamental problem is that I haven't quite moved on from living in rural Germany for 7 years. All my clothes are scruffy jeans (some with holes), cosy fleeces and practical dark t-shirts. I barely possess a single pair of high heels - useless when you step out of your door into six inch mud/snow (delete according to season). Sigh. Perhaps I'll find something in London on Monday afternoon...
On Tuesday I'm going to be in Waterstone's in Cirencester (14.30 and 16.30, if you're in the area that day), signing books. I know that particular shop fairly well as when we come to the UK to visit relatives I often nip in to stock up on English language books. You can get those in Brussels but generally they are a bit more expensive.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I am going to be talking to Carnegie shadowing scheme groups in Somerset, Cardiff and Warwick. I'm visiting the Stanchester Community School who sent me such a charming invitation that I couldn't refuse it - also they are allegedly going to have real German pretzels, athough I don't know where you can get those in Somerset. The Cardiff and Warwick events are both in theatres and groups from lots of different schools will be attending. In Cardiff the audience will be about 300-strong. At times like this I am very grateful for the 10 years I spent working in Marketing. (I worked on Twiglets and Mum deodorant amongst other products.) I've had to do lots of presentations before and once you've faced the northern region sales force and lived to tell the tale, you feel you can cope with anything. I have some gorgeous slides to show all the groups, plus a very special surprise indeed, which I'll describe afterwards, just in case anyone who's going to attend lays eyes on this blog.
I'll then be heading back to Brussels, laden with goodies from M&S and Waterstone's, and desperate to find out how my family managed without me (have the cats got into the guest room and eaten the gerbils? etc.). Will it have "done them good"? We shall see...

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