Monday, 15 February 2016

Meeting Richard and Judy

It's the featured week for The Samaritan in Richard and Judy's Book Club this week, which means it gets top shelf promotion in WHSmith and seems to be on special offer for half price in some branches.

As my former boss and new head honcho of Uber Glasgow Chris Yiu reports, it looks like they're flying off the shelves...
It also means my Richard and Judy podcast is live, so you can now head over there to listen to my interview with R&J. There's a new post from me there on the inspiration behind the book.

You can still read Richard and Judy's reviews in full on the Book Club blog, check out their Q&A with me or read a free sample of the book.

It seems like ages since I recorded the interview, but I thought it would be good to record for posterity what it's like getting to meet Richard and Judy to talk about your book.

After arriving in London, I met Angela and Virginia from Orion for coffee before the interview. While I attempted to suppress my nerves, we chatted about the interview and lots of other things: the cover for Winterlong, the pronunciation of Eurydice (I had only recently discovered it's you-RID-uh-see, not you're-a-dice), and the fact Angela had passed by a guy dressed as an Imperial Stormtrooper at the railway station (guess what movie was coming out that day).

At the appointed time, we reported to reception at the upmarket hotel in Covent Garden where Richard and Judy were recording the podcasts, and I was ushered into a room to record some of the pre-interview material. This involved a short reading from The Samaritan, and talking briefly about how I write.

Laura Barnett arrived for her session after me - I had met her at a Hachette event a few months before and loved her novel The Versions of Us, so it was nice that we both made the list. I'm Facebook friends with Ruth Ware too, and although we didn't get a chance to see each other on the day, it was great to see In a Dark, Dark Wood on there too.

A helper came to tell us that Richard and Judy were ready and led me through to the room where they were recording. It was a strange but wonderful experience, like stepping inside a television. They were both lovely. When Richard kicked off his introduction, I was reminded why they've been a fixture of British TV and radio for so long. I kind of wish he could introduce me at all my events.

They asked me about the novel, about why we're drawn to violent crime stories, about how I came up with my pseudonym. I also learned that the hands are always set to ten past ten in wristwatch adverts. You can't unsee this once you're aware of it.

And then, before I knew it, we were done. We snapped a few pictures with me sitting on the couch with R&J (throughout which I couldn't stop thinking I am on the couch with Richard and Judy) and then it was downstairs to the bar to catch up with my editor Jemima and lots of the Orion team who had come along to celebrate. Judi Dench was there too. Although not part of our party, regrettably.

To say it was an insanely cool experience would be an understatement; it's the kind of wildly unrealistic ambition you dream about as an aspiring author. Since then, it's been wonderful to hear from new readers and to see the book alongside the other book club selections in pride of place in branches of WHSmith the length and breadth of the UK.

To quote Ferris Bueller, I highly recommend it.

No comments:

Post a Comment