‘What happens next?’

That’s what Philip Caveney’s daughter kept asking, once she’d made her Dad write a children’s book for her. He presented her with one chapter a day, each time hoping she’d tire of this and leave him alone. But she liked what he wrote, and before long, so did Philip himself. He likes children’s books the best these days because feels he can do whatever he likes in them.

Philip Caveney at the Plaza

Not only has Philip’s Night on Terror Island just been published, but he had a whopping big launch party at the Stockport Plaza yesterday. Very suitable, launching a book set in a Stockport cinema in a Stockport cinema. Something like 500 children turned up, and Philip’s talk went down a storm. He also read them the bit where Kip ends up being shot at while ‘visiting’ Dillinger inside the big screen.

Who’d not want to read the book after something like that?

Even I sort of wanted to read it, despite the fact I already had. The lovely and efficient Clare at Andersen had invited me to come and meet Philip (once she’d worked out I’m not within cycling distance of her office, she’s good at keeping track of my whereabouts), so I turned up at noon for a brief chat in the Plaza’s café. Didn’t find them to begin with, but once I saw Elvis I knew I was OK.

We’d met before, and he sort of remembered me. We both wanted a cheese and pickle sandwich, while Clare and Philip felt more ‘beefy’. There was much hilarity and gossip over lunch, but I’m afraid I can’t share all of it. Elvis likes chocolate and isn’t above stealing other people’s. ‘Pill boxes’, with and without content, were admired.

Philip Caveney at the Plaza

Unsurprisingly, Philip has a passion for films and the cinema. Night on Terror Island has already had some film interest, and Philip would like Max von Sydow as Mr Lazarus. Good choice. Swedes can always be relied upon, and we agreed that Max von Sydow (interesting to hear how his name sounds in English…) looked old forty years ago, and he still looks old.

I was wrong yesterday. I said in my review of Philip’s book that it had to be set in the Marple cinema. Turns out it’s the other one. Oh well. And there will be more books. The second one has already been written. Wonder what film(s) they’ll almost get killed in next time?

Elvis and I talked bladders, while half of the audience needed to deal with theirs, well before Philip even got started on his talk. This is what happens when you have hundreds of young readers. They were shown the exciting trailer that’s been made, and by the time Philip had told them all about Dillinger, and having the maths ability of a hamster, the audience were more than ready to ask questions. No shyness at all, which is how we now know Philip’s middle name is Richard. Well, someone had to ask. But don’t call him Dick.

Philip Caveney at the Plaza

To finish, there were prizes to be won and boxes of books to be carted back to the schools. Philip had already signed a whole lot of them, or he’d still be there signing away.

Philip Caveney at the Plaza

Now that is what I call a book launch!

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