Friday, 3 August 2018

An Illustrated Story of a Book Signing


I find that everyone has a story. This lady had been
in the navy before coming North,



I had a marvellous time yesterday with my friend writer Avril Joy* in Gordon Draper's wonderful Bishop Auckland Bondgate Bookshop. I have written here about visiting Gordon in his bookshop and seeing it as something of a magical book cave. Well I spent yesterday afternoon in the bookshop signing copies of Becoming Alice for pass passers-by and people – friends and strangers – who called in to wish me good luck with my novel.
*Avril took the photographs on my wonky camera. Thank you Avril,  as always.




 Norma tells Gordon about
 about her very successful
 Sedgefield Bookends Festival


Gordon had set up a table with flowers and - towards the end -  brought in a bottle of wine to celebrate. Unlike other more conventional book signings this event had a real sense of celebration. We were not just celebrating Alice we were also celebrating the survival of independent bookshop’s both new and second-hand in this world of corporate bookselling and the concept of books as commodities.

Hugh and Eileen - both keen writers - talk  about
 their reading and their writing


This was illustrated by the attendance at the signing of the Bishop Auckland Ambassadors - a group of people who are active in supporting independent and creative retailers in Bishop Auckland to  promote their creative endeavours  to newcomers and to the citizens of this unique town. The enthusiasm of the ambassadors for their project was inspirational in itself.





Another lovely thing yesterday was that, throughout the event  ordinary book customers - young and old -  wandered in. Anything about boxing? Anything about climbing? Anything about Irish History? These enquiries sent Gordon hunting through his stock. Some people who came for the signing also  bought other books. 

I take my work very seriously, of course.





A celebratory glass with Gordon, the magician of the Bondgate Book Cave.


And even I didn’t escape Gordon’s magic. Without really intending to I bought a book called Customers and Patrons of the Mad Trade – the Management of Lunacy in 18th-Century London. (Now, she thinks, there’s a novel there somewhere



As I have said many times it's All About Alice.

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