It's been a while since I've given a talk at a library, so I was really looking forward to last night's one at my own village library. And what a lovely audience I had there! (If any of you from Galleywood find their way to this blog - hello (wave)! - and thanks again for coming! I didn't count the numbers, but the library ran out of chairs so that was a good indication! I mentioned last night that I once heard another writer say: 'It's always good to see more than one person at these events!' - and that's absolutely right. It's so nice that people make the effort to come out in the evening - especially a hot one like last night - to listen to a fairly unknown local author, so it really is appreciated.
I'll now tell you the original story behind the 'more than one' comment, because I think it's very funny. I heard it in a talk by Simon Brett, a very clever and funny author and excellent speaker. He described a situation encountered by a friend who arrived to give a talk in a huge auditorium in Finland, seating 500. Only one person was in the audience, right at the back. He waited until 10 minutes after the starting time, then stood up and suggested to this guy that, as there were only the two of them, it might be better if they went to the pub instead and talked in a more intimate environment. The chap responded: 'You talk.' So the author returned to the podium and began his talk. There was no reaction whatsoever from his one-person audience, so again, he suggested calling it a day and heading for the pub. Again, the response was: 'You talk.' So he carried on, but eventually, he couldn't stand it any longer and asked the guy why he really wanted him to continue to talk. He replied: 'You talk, I play piano afterwards.' He'd been hired to provide piano music at the end of the event - the audience was actually non-existent!
So you can see where we're coming from. Total lack of audience = humiliation. More than one = fantastic!
The new book's officially out tomorrow - I'll be back with a celebratory post then.