As my arms grew longer and longer on Thursday afternoon, I found myself looking forward to meeting up with Nick Green with rather more fervour than I had anticipated. It was a case of a paperback relay across Europe, and even the Atlantic. Some of the books I’ve finished with are going to Germany, and Nick was the intermediary for this. He will store the 27 books in the cupboard where he keeps his biscuits, or so he said. And some time next week Lee will turn up from Germany and retrieve them. She reckoned she could manage 8 kg of books, but the bad news is I only made it to 6,5 kg. I’m glad it was no more, if only for the sake of my arms.
The Atlantic book selection was for Siobhan Dowd’s New York pal Helen, who very rashly agreed to take some. Once I’d disposed of both book bags I was back to more elegant travelling, with just my own bag containing toothbrush and a couple of books to read on the train.
Meeting Nick was lovely for more reasons than length of arms. We had tea at a coffee place near his day job. Or it was more that I asked him to get me tea and a piece of cake, and the nice man obeyed. He didn’t even take my money, saying tea was far cheaper than rounds in the pub.
We talked about his writing, naturally. For someone with a ‘proper’ job, as well as a young family, he writes very fast. There is the reissue of Cat Kin in May, and the very happy news is that he will actually write the third part of the trilogy now. And there is another as yet unpublished trilogy on the way, so plenty to look forward to.
The previous day there had been more Siobhan Dowd news. It seems she left a partly written novel behind, and Patrick Ness will undertake the job of finishing writing her book. Unlike Siobhan’s other books this one will be illustrated. There was quite a bit of discussion about this fresh piece of news at the Unicorn Theatre. As a fan both of Siobhan’s and of Patrick’s I hope this will work out well. I’m not convinced about people finishing someone else’s book, but I’m willing to keep an open mind about it.