Spreading a Little Christmas Cheer

One of the nicest things about writing a novel is getting out there and spending an afternoon in the company of readers, so I was really looking forward to visiting W H Smiths, Northampton last Saturday to chat to customers, share a mince pie and spread some literary Christmas spirit.

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I wasn’t sure how busy it would be. The signing was arranged for my second novel, The Truth Will Out, and the book has been out since April. A little known writer like me doesn’t attract a long queue out of the door like that of Peter James or Lee Child (I wish!), particularly after a string of promotional events throughout the summer.

The atmosphere in Northampton was buoyant and festive on arrival, and I was immediately struck by how busy the book department at the store was. We constantly read that town centre stores are closing and bookshops in particular are on the decline. There was obviously an element of Christmas shopping last Saturday, coupled with those perhaps ducking into the bookshop in search of a little peace from the hustle of the high street. However there was certainly a rich group of people that were simply out and about browsing and, while I did sign a couple of books intended as Christmas presents, the majority of interest came from readers simply looking for something new.

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It was also lovely to meet friends, old and new. I was touched when Arthur (pictured above) said he’d read my first book and surprised his wife by coming into town on a Saturday just to see me – a wonderful moment for any author.

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These lovely sisters came to my first ever signing of An Unfamiliar Murder in Waterstones, Northampton in 2012 and it was great to see them again.

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Old friends called in to lend their support. And, of course, there were lots of new and interesting people to chat to. All magical moments that made the day special.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Lynne and all the wonderful staff at Smiths for hosting the signing and giving us such a warm welcome.

I also need to thank my dear husband and daughter. Any of you that know me, will be aware that I combine my writing with a day job and a family which always induces a tinge of guilt when I do events, especially on weekends. This is tempered by the fact that they come out to support me, cook, hand out bookmarks, chat to people and get involved and I’ll always be grateful for their support.

The afternoon was the perfect introduction to Christmas. I just need to do some shopping, write a few cards and wrap some presents now.