Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Of booksellers and leopard skin

Recovering, Legion of Fans (LOF), is what I'm doing this morning after a very enjoyable evening of drinking (errr... networking) with a very nice bunch of booksellers from the Collins and Book City group here in Australia.

I'm currently in Cairns, in tropical far North Queensland. Somewhere out there beyond my sunglasses is the Great Barrier Reef, but I was lucky to make it as far as breakfast this morning, let alone the natural wonders off the coast.

I spoke at the booksellers' conference last night and had a very good time after my speech, as I permitted myself a drink or two at that point. I don't mind public speaking (quite like it, in fact, as I'm a bit of a big head), but I have seen enough drunken speeches in my time to know that I need to lay off the sauce before talking.

As I told the assembled book shop people, one of the things I like about my job as a writer is getting out and meeting people. I am a sociable being, as Mrs Blog will confirm (with a slight roll of her eyeballs).

And I'm set to be more sociable as I have vague recollections of promising, hand on heart, to visit possibly every country town in Australia (Collins and Book City are very big in regional Australia).

So, I may very well be coming to a library or book shop near you in the near future.

The proof copies of my fifth book, SILENT PREDATOR (for some reason people in the publishing business always write book titles in capitals so I am following suit - plus it might just help the search engines pick it up) have been printed and were handed out to the booksellers last night. I got to sign lots of copies, exercising my right hand (as if that were needed) in preparation for my forthcoming whistle stop tour of rural Australia.

Gregory David Roberts, if you're self-googling (again), I'm sorry to say I told my SHANTARAM story again last night, as it always gets a laugh.

But back to my forthcoming book tour, which I've apparently signed myself up for.,. I'll soon be breathing the mountain air, man, crossing the desert spare, man, in travel I'm about to have my share, man, because I'm about to go everywhere.

I won't name names at this stage, for fear of backing people into keeping drunken promises, but if you're out there, Collins and Book City people (my new best friends) I am ready, willing and able to come visit you, your shops and your local libraries at any time.

Attentive readers will recall that I was in Darwin the week before last, and last week I was in the very agreeable regional town of Albury, doing some proper (ie not book-related) work.

Mrs Blog is feeling a bit left out as a result of my jetsetting (or turboprop-setting in the case of Albury) - particularly as she has a proper job and has to stay at home and work. Her aim in life is to be the wife of a rich and famous author, and as I am neither she is feeling less than content at the moment.

I, too, would like Mrs Blog to be the wife of a rich and famous author (preferably me). She envisages a future life of being chauffer driven from airports to five-star hotels, and having her toes painted in her luxury suite in preparation for shopping trips, while I exercise my right hand signing books for a queue of 400-plus loyal fans.

Me, I'll be happy to talk at a local library and get drunk with booksellers.

To close this rambling post I would like to direct you to my first ever poll, at the top left hand corner. My trusty webmeister, The Barman, has transferred the signature leopard print from my website to this blog and I want you, the people, to tell me if you like it. So vote for or against leopard skin, and while you're at it, go to the post below if you haven't already voted for me in the SA Blog Awards.

No comments :