And Wild Fire at home...
It has been a totally bonkers month. If someone had told me ten years ago that I'd be touring the country with a book, talking not just to readers but to journalists and interviewers, on radio and TV, it would have been unbelievable, a strange fantasy. I'm still pinching myself.
It started on the first of the month with radio 4's Saturday Live, an easy chat with the presenters and other guests. Then it was overnight on the ferry to Shetland and a series of events (which I loved) and of interviews (which I found a bit exhausting). But it was Shetland and the weather was glorious and lots of my friends were there. And I was very looked after by my wonderful publicist. Next, it was Orkney and a chance to catch up with more friends and more readers.
We headed south to Norwich then, and to Bury St Edmund's and on to London and the launch party hosted by the magnificent Goldsborough Books. There was Shetland food and Shetland gin: the gin distillery Shetland Reel based in Unst has created a delicious Wild Fire gin - and Cathy Geldard played the tune for Jimmy Perez. We stayed south for David's Bookshop in Letchworth Garden City, for the Reading Ahead launch with Unison, then bobbed up to Harrogate for a great joint event with the library and Imagined Things Bookshop. Back to London for two more library gigs: Bourne End and Uxbridge. And we ended our tour of the south with a lovely evening at the Chiswick Book Festival (more food thanks to Marion Armitage and more gin).
In the middle of the month we were north again. Far from the Madding Crowd bookshop in Linlithgow is delightful and their events, fuelled by home-made cakes, are always a sell-out. The storm hit as I arrived in St Boswell's, and then blew its worst while we travelled to Perth and Dundee, but still staff and readers turned out. It was the same in Falkirk and in Waterstone's Glasgow Sauchiehall Street. Thanks so much to everyone who battled the weather to come to join us. By the time we arrived to The Edinburgh Bookshop the sun was shining and it was calm again. We had morning coffee and scones and cakes and chatted to a very welcoming crowd.
By now the tour was almost at its end but there was a quick flight south so I could do Graham Norton's show on radio 2. I was a bit scared about this, but he was relaxed and welcoming and very warm. Thanks Graham! Back to Scotland and Stirling to catch up with my friend and fellow crime-writer Louise Penny. A wonderful Bloody Scotland event, packed to the rafters with readers chaired by the incomparable Alex Gray.
Now I'm home, with a few days to catch my breath before heading to Forum Books and the Wigtown Festival at the weekend. The fun bit about being a writer is making up the stories and meeting the readers and I'd like to acknowledge the team that makes it all happen behind the scenes - the editors, marketing team and my wonderful publicist Maura. And particularly the regional sales people, who are on the road making contacts with booksellers and smoothing the way. Thanks to you all!