Incredibly busy week. As I mentioned a while back, MJ put together a press release for me and sent it out to most of the local newspapers, which resulted in myself, Hal Duncan (first book out next year from Tor UK), and Mike Cobley, being interviewed by Sheila Hamilton, a journalist for the Evening Times.
What happened next: she arranged to give me a call about a photo shoot for the three of us, at the Science Centre across the river from the SECC. I heard nothing from her, and assumed the interview had been permanently spiked. Monday morning I get a call from a photographer, who says he's been waiting at the Centre for half an hour, myself having received absolutely no word of this from Hamilton. So various phone calls were made, and the shoot was rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon, which turned out to be one of the extremely rare sunny days of the year.
I've mentioned before that the south side of the Clyde is changing rapidly. Not only are the BBC building a brand-new state of the art facility a short walk from my house, so are several other media companies, as a result of which certain nearby areas - such as Govan, practically a ghost town in parts, over the past couple of decades - are seen as prime real-estate-in-waiting, something I'm hoping and at least partly expecting will have a knock-on positive effect on the value of my place. The Science Centre, next to the BBC's building site, looks like it should, like an artefact of the new century. So naturally they chose it as a backdrop to the shoot, which was enjoyable, but exhausting in the blazing sun.
I haven't seen the piece in the papers yet, which leads me to suspect it might have been temporarily spiked for future reference, or perhaps it'll be in the paper sometime this week. Or perhaps not until Worldcon next year: I'll just have to wait and see.
Thursday, I did a reading and question-and-answer for a good-sized crowd at Ottakar's, a small chain bookstore located in a large and busy shopping centre almost dead smack in the centre of town. This was marginally nerve-wracking, as you might expect, but all my fears were allayed and it went very well indeed. Most of the audience, big surprise, were people I knew, but there were a good few pleasantly unfamiliar faces there as well. It was nice getting to sit there, with a big, attractive-looking pile of the books next to me on the table.
Afterwards I signed a shedload of copies, and although I didn't count, it felt like a good number were purchased as a result of the reading. Some of the Edinburgh writers were also present, particularly Andrew Wilson who writes for The Scotsman. Phil did me an intro, I read a couple of passages from the book, answered some questions, and then a crowd of us continued the night at the Counting House, which is a large city-centre bar just off George Square.
I also got an excellent review of the book in The List, which is the Scottish equivalent of London's Time Out, a combination of events, theatre and cinema listings, along with arts, music, film and drama reviews and interviews - whatever your local equivalent happens to be. I'd specifically asked the publicist at Pan Macmillan/Tor UK to send a review copy to them, since I knew it had a better chance of being reviewed there, and a better chance of being picked up on by potential readers. You'll note this review is now quoted up on the right hand bar.
At some point I'm going to have to hit one or two of the other local bookshops and sign some of their copies for sale. I already signed some spare copies for Ottakars, so that's at least one out of the way.