I went to hear Miles Jupp last night at our local arts centre. He has a book out at the moment: 'Fibber in the Heat', which is about how he blagged himself a job as a journalist following the England cricket team on tour in India.
I wasn't sure what to expect - perhaps a reading of a few extracts from the book with an anecdote or two and a bit of a comedy turn. What he actually did was brilliant. It was a one-man-show-style rendition of the book, just him and a microphone and a couple of hours of wonderful actorly performance. Witty, clever, thought-provoking.
It was also a bit of a masterclass in how to promote a book. The Waterstones team were on hand to ensure that there were plenty of copies and we were ushered through efficiently but with no sense of hurry. Miles J was charming - and he signed my ticket, as well as my book! The lovely thing was, though, that it didn't feel like it was just another stop on an author tour; it was like a proper night out - oh and by the way, do buy the book, if you'd be so kind. If he's coming your way, go and see him.
On my own writing front, two near misses in short story competitions: an 'honourable mention' and a spot on a short list. Oh well, reread, rework and resubmit...