There are some things which, as a writer, you look forward to. Your book coming out. Page proofs arriving. Seeing the cover art for the first time.
More important is the publisher party.
Last night was the Pan Macmillan sales conference, where the great and good of that publisher were gathered under one roof at Kings Place, London, in a room overlooking a very pleasant canal. A great setting for a party. Julie, my editor at Tor, invited me along for drinks in the evening after their day of general celebratory presentations – they’re doing rather well given the current financial storms in the publishing world.
I strolled in at around 6.30pm (in fine attire, of course) to be handed a glass of champagne immediately upon arrival. Yes, I thought. Yes indeed.
Good lord. All I did was write a book about monsters and stuff, and here I was surrounded by some of the finest minds in the UK – Andrew Marr, John Simpson, and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson were at one point within five feet of me.
Julie and Chloe then turned up to escort me around the room. My mission: to schmooze. In attendance were many of the buyers at major chains: Amazon, Waterstone’s, Borders, the lovely ladies from the Book Club Association, and it certainly doesn’t do any harm in saying hello to them and fluttering one’s eye-lashes.
Also, I met many of the beautiful and sexy employees (women and men – anyone who can influence my sales!) at Pan Macmillan, who are all absolute stars for making me feel like a star, from editors to sales people to accountants to designers, they all make a difference and deserve acknowledgement. William Horwood, writer-legend and thoroughly splendid chap, was another genre figure in attendance. Oh, and briefly, I met Martine McCutcheon, who mentioned that she would read my book, bless her, but somehow I think this highly unlikely. Charming lady.
So all in all I don’t think I embarrassed myself too much, despite the never-ending glass of wine (topped up before I could even get half way down). Eventually I shuffled off to catch the last train back to Nottingham, and crashed at around 2am.
The things a writer has to do…
I’ve been to the Gollancz autumn party twice and it is a bit of a starry-eyed experience meeting all these famous writers, some of whom I’ve been reading (or, in Rob Grant’s case, watching their TV shows) for 20+ years. Especially when they asked what I did, to which my only reply was “Erm, blogger,” or ‘virtual press’, which I later discovered goes over better (leading to discussions of the virtual press getting paid in virtual money, i.e. none, and so on).
Champagne and canapes are also very good.
Hang on, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson is one of our finest minds? 😛
Re: TPT- deliberate irony!
Interestingly very few genre authors here – this net was quite a wide one, from TV celebs to Olympic rowers. I’m quite used to being a fan boy at genre events, but this was interestingly different.