Tour of Duty!

THE big worry for an author about the first book signing of any tour, especially one that comes after the successful launch of a new book, is that you sink like the Titanic!

Well I’m delighted to say, and a bit relieved too, that no flippers were required at WHSmith Stirling last Saturday where I managed to sell 53 copies of ‘The Shadow of Fear’!

I also met up with a few people who have been loyal readers of mine for a few years now…which, for me, is something I find almost strange to say!

Particularly as this is the biggest signing tour put on in Scotland by WHSmith, and I am still a pretty much unknown author, the fear of bombing is something that weighs heavy….or it does until kick-off!

For one of the things I enjoy most is getting out there and meeting people who read…why’s that? Because I love to read too and it’s amazing the little tit bits you pick up on the road as well as the familiar faces you bump into.

Pictured below is Eammon, who was my 50th sale at Stirling and who I’m delighted to say has also bought my other four novels from the Thoroughgood series…a huge thanks to you sir!

Anyway the next step on the road is today’s trip to Paisley which has been a very happy hunting ground for me in the last couple of years.

Although this is by far my biggest tour with WHSmith in Scotland it is also the fourth itinerary I have embarked on with them and you get to know the GMs and some of the staff in the branches across Scotland.

The great thing about touring with WHSmith is the quality of people who run their shops, they care about their product and about making you, the author, really at home and Dee, the manageress in Paisley, also likes a laugh as you can see from the pic below!

Fingers crossed we will both be laughing at 3pm!

Away from books I like to play a bit of tennis and squash and last Saturday at Bridge of Allan Sports club we had a challenge match between the two sections on the ‘Padel Court’….heard of that?!!

I’m delighted to say that the squash section prevailed 5-2 and here is a wee pic of myself and the legendary ‘JR’, my partner and ‘coach’, after our successful defeat of two talented young juniors who we ‘old manned’ to claim a crucial victory that did wonders for my stress levels… the bar afterwards!

Anyway a bit of news not long in…I am delighted to confirm that the award winning Rock Rose Gin will be sponsoring my Glasgow launch on Sunday, June 24 at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow’s leafy West End!

Rock Rose gets its wonderful flavour from a carefully selected blend of traditional local botanicals like Rhodiola Rosea and Sea Buckthorn and a huge thanks to owner Martin Murray for his kind patronage.

You can’t beat a good G&T and I look forward to sampling the delights of this unique creation from the wilds of Caithness….before…during…and after my appearance at 1DG!!

That will definitely help me gin and bear it all next weekend!



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