Friday, May 21, 2010

Down the station

If you get a chance you should go along to a Firestation Book Swap one of these days. I had a great time last night and I got the feeling most people did. Thinking back, I believe I talked a lot of rubbish and never got around to answering that curry question, but any failings on my part were made up for by the others onstage - Kate Williams, Marie Phillips and Scott Pack. And those in the audience, of course - it's a proper interactive thing.

Scott and Marie have a great format there and I think it points the way forward for book events. It's basically like a living room on the stage with a couch etc. There was even a kettle boiling behind my head at one point. Random audience questions are chucked into a hat at the start and read out during, so none of that horrible "any questions?" business at the end. Oh yeah, and books are swapped. Some lucky woman got my Charles Willeford. I think it then got re-swapped for another book. You were THAT close to reading a hidden noir classic there, lady. But hey, everyone goes home with something new so we're all quids in. Especially the guy who ended up with PICK-UP.

But it's not all books, and that's the beauty of it. What is it about then, if not books? Well... cake.

It's about cake.

There was even one with the guests' names on it. I ate my name in cake! As a big cake fan I can tell you it was a real honour. Many thanks to the lady who made it.

Also great to catch up with my old school mate Joel... who swapped PG Wodehouse for Iain Banks, I believe.

By the way, if I were a curry I would be a chicken bhuna.

Ta to Scott and Marie for having me down.


Kortni said...

You and Kate were some of the best guests I've seen at bookswap. It was such a funny evening. (Did you end up thinking of an answer to the curry question in the end?)
Picture of the cake -

Also your book sounds great, and have joined the facebook group to get your other book published (and have sent out invites to all my facebook friends)

(the cake girl)

Lucy Thorpe said...

I'm really sorry,the curry question was me and it was really shit.
I didn't have time to think of anything decent.
I did however enjoy myself and thought you made a lovely contrast with the other author, whose necklace glittered in the lights (her long legs were the subject of much discussion,yes even among the ladies.)
I lived in Worcester for a bit, when my first job took me to the then brand new BBC Hereford and Worcester. I lived in a flat off Castle Hill.

Marie said...

Thanks for being a great guest. I am glad that you had a good time and even more glad that you have finally answered the curry question. Now I can sleep again at night. (As opposed to during the day, which is never a problem.)

Charlie Williams said...

Kortni, I remember getting that piece of cake with my name on it and thinking "Don't eat it. You eat it and it's gone forever and you'll never see it again!" Then I ate it. And now I can see it again!

Lucy, nothing at all wrong with the curry q. I just wasn't up to it! I'm also well into curries so it was impossible to take it lightly. Hey, I was at BBC H&W the other week. Can't remember when it started up though. I bet Dave Bradley was there, right?

Marie, same to you for being a great host. One thing I remember is, erm, accidentally interrupting you and both of us carrying on talking in parallel for a while. Soz about that! It's what they do on Newsnight Review.