A Night To Remember

Well ‘The Hammer’ WHSmith Scottish tour is well and truly on and already we are two signings in at hugely contrasting venues.

As always I start my tours in my home city of Stirling where I was lucky enough to sign 47 books and meet several people who came to get their hands on a copy of the latest DS Thoroughgood book three years after I had last seen them on my previous tour for ‘The Blood Acre’.

Especially in your home patch that is always a nice feeling and it was a very good start with the picture below detailing the very first sale of the tour to Agnes!

Next up for me was a trip to Wigtown for a pop-up book signing that was arranged almost ad hoc and to coincide with the Wigtown Book Festival on Wednesday 28 September.

This all came about as the son of a good friend and former colleague of mine, David Harvey had opened up The Machar’s Farm Shop and he was kind enough to set aside a part of his property, complete with a sherry cask as my desk for a signing!


Yet that is not why it was to prove a night to remember!

I had arrived the day before on the Tuesday, as making your way to Wigtown is neither easy or quick, and after a couple of refreshments at the Festival’s quaint bar, which is a converted Antiques Shop, we adjourned to the most fabulous accommodation I have ever been put up in!

Monreith House, a Georgian Mansion no less, which is pictured below.

My young ghost, sorry host (!), insisted on providing me with a guided tour around the stately home which was fascinating at it was almost completely untouched since it had been inhabited by the Maxwell family.

However when we made our way along the third floor I started to notice a marked drop in the temperature and felt an unseen presence, I subsequently enquired about this and was advised that the property was indeed haunted!

It turns out that approximately 100 years back it played host to a tragedy that saw a nanny suffering from depression throw a child from the top floor nursery room.

Needless to say this tragic tale occupied more than an hour or two in front of a blazing fire a couple of floors down in the drawing room accompanied by a suitably full bloodied glass of red wine – or three!

Yet as you can see from me engaging the two ladies below the day after the night before went well and a further 33 signed copies of my books left the premises.

So my trip to Wigtown was memorable for more than one reason!

But it’s back on the road again for me tomorrow as I head to Ayr and of one thing I am sure and that is this signing is sure to prove less ‘ayrraising’!



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