‘Do you smoke?’ was the first unlikely question. ‘Would you like a go in the rooftop jacuzzi?’ came next, closely followed by a query whether I drink. The bowler-hatted Scottish concierge at the hotel seemed bemused by this non-drinking, non-bathing, non-smoking witch trying to gain access to his rooftop bar. I assured him the only thing I’d possibly want to do was throw myself over the edge if my vertigo got the worse of me. So he sent me up in the lift, which incidentally didn’t quite reach all the way. There was still some manual climbing to be done. And then he had the nerve to suggest I could walk down…
London saw me coming. Big time. It had managed to put up scaffolding over most of town, in my honour. Even Leicester Square was off limits, being improved for 2012. So no sitting in the square between engagements. Pah.
I was down in the sunny smoke to see two, or possibly three, cruel and violent Nordic ‘killers’. Lars Kepler flew in for his (their?) launch yesterday. As soon as I heard they (he?) was/were coming I asked for an interview. We had tried to find a mutually convenient time and place in Sweden, but it fell on the difference in school holidays. They (he) have a holiday home close to me, so it could have been ideal. But as it happened, London was easier.
Alexandra and Alexander Ahndoril (it’s going to be such a pain working out what to call them…) deposited their children at school and then flew into London, met up with the witch and then went on to the launch of The Hypnotist at Goldsboro Books, which specialises in signed first editions. Covered in plastic, which I will have to be persuaded is a good idea. (It reminds me of the Beanie Baby Daughter was told to play with through a plastic bag so as not to ruin it for when she got to be as old as her mother! It could have suffocated in there.) I will however be putting my Debi Gliori Pure Dead Magic in a safe from now on.
A and A were surprisingly excited about the excitement of all this. Not the plastic, but the rest. I suppose it’s not every day you launch your first crime novel in London. They certainly dressed the part, and the rest of us were nowhere near as elegant. Alexandra wore red high heeled strappy sandals, which she could actually move about in. She wore a dress too, obviously. A green affair. Alexander had a suit on, which is not too common among Swedes.
They sign their books three times, and yesterday they also added a quote. Goldsboro didn’t run to a signing table, so they signed on the edge of the bookcase, perilously close to the glasses of red wine. But they were only collectible books, so no matter…
The witch doesn’t move in crime circles often enough to recognise even a few at a gathering like this. The only one I ‘knew’ was Peter Guttridge, after ‘our’ weekend in Bristol a few years ago.
Lars Kepler thought I might be driving back. I didn’t admit to broomstick, so they are under the impression I went home by train. Of course I did. It was coach B for Bookwitch, as usual. It’s a good one. After you’ve walked all that way to reach it, you’re halfway to Manchester already.