Sunday, 2 October 2011


This pic courtesy of The Paper Princess, Yasmine Hussain
Wednesday 28th - the first ever reading, nay, the World Premiere of The Coward's tale, courtesy of Damian Barr and the Aubin & Wills Westbourne Grove Literary Salon. Playing to a packed house, with chairs set among the jumpers, suits and hacking jackets, Eleanor Moran and I both read and then had a natter with Damian, took questions form the floor. It all seemed to go down well, I had a smashing time, dinner afterwards with some ardent followers (not of me, of Damian!) and back to my club. Ahem. Thank to the Bedford Four too, for coming down special!

I got to meet and natter to an artist I have admired for a long time - Greyson Perry. We met at Bloomsbury's 25th Birthday bash, which, in true style, covered the centre of Bedford Square in London in a marquee and filled it with over 1000 authors past present and future, publishers, agents, printers, literary reviewers, illustrators, and oodles more.

For Dutch courage, the lovely Claire King met me at The New Cavendish Club (I have associate membership thanks to my membership of SWWJ) and we downed a G and T before heading off eastwards in a taxi. I regressed, unashamedly, into a teenage celeb-spotter. Lovely to see my buddy Andrew, my agent Euan, my editor Helen, the paperback editor Tram-Anh (which means Wise One), and to meet Jane Rusbridge and Precious Williams for the first time, Marika Cobbold for the second time, Selma Dabbagh for the at least third time, Jeremy Osborne of Sweet Talk for the first time, to eat finger food by the best (including haggis in a roll - which for a hot evening, was amazing!) -drink endless champagne. Happy Birthday Bloomsbury, and here's to the next 25. Who knows, with luck and a following wind, I'll be there at the 50th. In my zimmer.
And here is the paperback cover sent to me by Tram-Anh. With a few tweaks, including adding Rhymney Beers to the hotel signs, its smashing!


  1. All looks glorious V. Enjoy! x

  2. Oh it all sounds v glamorous and wonderful. You look radiant!

  3. It *is* a good life isn't it?! Love the paperback cover. Gorgeous.

  4. Fantastic! you must be on such a high!

  5. Brilliant all round. Fantastic looking cover for the paperback too. And met with Chief Grayson Perry, that is the cherry on top. If I were there I might have had to explain why I made him chief of the Surbiton Commanche nation. heheh. You are so great. I don't even feel jealous anymore, just a sort of refracted warmth. Long may you continue.

  6. Ta Chelsey - (my goodness, what a book deal... clever thing!) Nuala, Claire, (brill dress!) and Sue - bless you for nice words.

    Stephen - so he's Chief G P of the Surbiton Commanche Nation? Good grief.
    I didn't know you were jealous - of what? The headaches, the few extreme nutcases I've worked with, the sleepless nights, the weight gain (a stone for every two years...), the lack of funds...the lines round the physog

    You could be jealous of the fab friendships I've made (but then you are one, and you cant be jealous of yourself), all the lovely generous writers I've worked with, all special people.

    I shall carry on...(!)

  7. Lovely! Well-deserved celebrations (and celeb-spotting!) all round, especially for you, V.

    I remember Eleanor Moran as achild. I was at school with her mother back in the stone age. Actually wrote to EM's assistant recently to wish mother and daughter well; but answer came there none ... sad.

    Best for the continuing fête, Mx

  8. Well, that just all sounds so lovely and glamorous. Well done!

  9. Mynne! Oh I had a grand time, I can tell you. Of course, not all weeks are like that, and yesterday I was helping the husband mend the downstairs loo. It was very lovely to meet Eleanor, who is just about to move to the USA, I think.

    Hi Neil - it was fun, I won't deny. Now its back to normality. Couldn't keep up the pace for long!

    and guess what - I completely forgot that on the Monday I was at the BBC short story award prizegiving - oh my goodness! best do another post...

  10. How wonderful! Lovely glowing photos and great energy! Congratulations!