I plan my appearance at Waterstone’s King’s Lynn: 7 August, 11am-1pm

“I am a bit nervous,” I admit to the Manager, over the phone.

Waterstone's King's Lynn window displayIt is true. I am more a writer than a personality, and I have no idea why anybody should want to actually meet me, unless they are a scary Stalky McStalker. I convey this fear to the Manager, who is a terribly nice chap and very sympathetic.

“Look,” he says. “Remember this is King’s Lynn – it’s not Piccadilly Circus. So you needn’t worry about it being a bit quiet. I will sit with you and hold your hand, so you do not look like a lemon.”

This will help.

“We had Roy Hudd in here a while back,” he continues. “And there were queues round the block. And then the next week we had another author, like you – not a famous name. And there was tumbleweed blowing through the store.”

There is a short pause. “Thank you for your reassurance,” I reply.

Everybody is sympathetic in the Village Pub. Mr & Mrs Martin the IT Consultant promises to turn up to buy another copy, as does Short Tony, who wants another copy to give to his brother for Christmas, signed and with the inscription ‘To Short Tony’s Brother.’ Jerry the Brush also says he will try to make it, as he has never read a book in his life and he thinks that he should start with mine, to see what they are like. I think that perhaps sometimes people use the phrase ‘has never read a book in his life’ very figuratively, but in fact Jerry the Brush has literally never read a book in his life, so I am hoping this means that I will be able to apply for some sort of adult literacy award from the government, etc.

The chickens will still not be attending. But I am hoping a smattering of celebrities such as the above will lend glamour to the occasion.


  1. I’m still giggling like a schoolgirl about you losing the light because of all the “have a good game”s required.

  2. So in effect you’ll be turning up alongside most of the cast of your book but hoping they’ll be buying a copy and one each for their family – like those albums that list the names of everyone in the audience on the cover on the basis that everyone will buy at least two copies. Smart move. Very rock and roll.

  3. I worry that this Manager’s “bookshop” could turn out to be more of a basement crawlspace, and that his promise to “hold your hand” may actually involve wrist restraints and a ball-gag.

    Good luck, Jonny!

  4. Even tumbleweed has better things to do on a Saturday afternoon than hang out with you, Jonny. Quiet will not be the word. I should bring a book to read if I were you. Not your own, obviously – something good…

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  6. You’d have to hope the “bookshop” would have a book to read – although if Spazmo’s right…..and it is in King’s Lynn, perhaps they only sell one book at a time.

  7. It’s a lovely picture that. Two shy gentlemen, one bookish, one writerish, sitting quietly in a deserted shop, their fingers entwined under a table hoping against hope that their idyllic tryst will not be interrupted by the mawkish crowds of Short Tony fans.

  8. Fear not, I’ll save you from the pretend manager, Jonny.

    You may wish I hadn’t, though.

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  10. Book signing UPDATE – I am promised a free sandwich!!!

  11. If spazmo is correct, it’s not the kind of sandwich your thinking of.

  12. you know, you could also take Mr. Mitt for comfort (or your telescoping ladder)

    Surely you must cajole the other people into buying stuff, specifically:
    – Len the Fish – because we haven’t heard of him in a while
    – the Chipper Barman – it’s least he could do for all the money you spend on booze at his establishment
    -the Cheerful Builder – he’s done enough damage as it is
    -the Vegetable Delivery Lady – we need an update to see if she’s gotten fat, er I mean zaftig

  13. I was in Waterstones in Truro last Saturday. I saw your book on a bottom shelf with a ‘buy two proper books and get this free’ label on it.

    I did toy with moving your books to a higher shelf, so that people would notice them. In the end though, ennui overtook me. Anyway, I couldn’t find two other books that I really wanted.

  14. Now if you’d told us earlier, I coulda persuade my brother what lives over there to go.

  15. Oh noes… Scooting over from Cambs now, but looks like we might just miss you!

  16. I have met Mr Billericay and have survived the experience. And so has he, in case anyone’s worried.

    Well, he was unharmed when I left.


    No, I’ve not seen him since, officer. It’s a mystery to me too.

  17. One time I was doing a book signing, an orthodox Jew joined the queue, so I signed his copy in the back flyleaf 😉

  18. Honestly, I never knew guys kept blog diaries too. Men I knew are ashamed to even say the word ‘Diary’!
    Love your blog.
    Good luck!

  19. Re the free sandwich: don’t forget to forgo the bread and just eat the inside. If you want a beer too, that is.

  20. Noelinetheneighbourscat

    Gosh, isn’t this all exciting, a Manager-trois in King’s Lynn and some unsuspecting local chicken! Hopefully the sandwich won’t hurt too much, eh.

  21. Why are you promoting your book in Norfolk? I thought it was uninhabited.

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