Firestation Book Swap – The View From The Sofa

The first thing to say is that unless you’ve been to one of these events, this post won’t make a lot of sense without reference to this one. So go and take a look at that and come back when you’ve finished. There may be a short test…

…although on this occasion I’m going to let you off, because I imagine you’re desperate to hear how it went. No?

To be honest, it all went by in a bit of a blur. So rather than a blow-by-blow account of the night, here are a few random impressions:

Remember the sofa from Black Books that ate one of the customers? The one at the Firestation Arts Centre is one of its ancestors.

Those questions from the audience are SERIOUSLY random. My favourite Icelandic cheese? Caravan or curry?

Have to say that whoever thought up the paper dart manufacturing contest between John Harding and myself was a genius. Even if, as Scott said, both our efforts were shit.

I REALLY need to work on filling the silences when I can’t think of an answer to a question. And why oh why couldn’t I think of a name of a SINGLE horror film that I’d liked apart from Alien, after that one was unreasonably disqualified for being sci-fi horror? (Yes, I was that bloke muttering “Psycho” to himself over and over again walking back from the station at midnight.)

Scott Pack is a top bloke and his family are all lovely. Last night was in fact the first time that both Martha (10) and Ethan (13) had been allowed to come along to a grown-up swap and they behaved impeccably (including – if my assumptions are correct – coming up with a couple of extremely erudite, if slightly weird, audience questions themselves).

Marie Phillips is lovely and complete unaffected by the fact that she has a Hollywood film coming out based on her book and is therefore a TOTAL SUPERSTAR.

John Harding is a lovely bloke and not just because he wrote the awesomely brilliant “Florence and Giles” and also (to my stunned amazement) wrote this about “Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens”.

It was a decent-sized audience – 40 to 50 at a rough estimate. I signed several copies of Mrs Darcy, some of which were bought on the night. And I also signed a few more for Waterstone’s stock. I met several tweeps for the first time and one or two whom I’m now in twitter contact with.

All in all, a good do.

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