Two events for Sausage Hall in two amazing bookshops

09 +00002014-11-21T16:54:42+00:0030 2012 § 4 Comments

In this extraordinary Sausage Hall launch week, which I am enjoying so much and for which I am very grateful, I’d like to pay tribute to two amazing bookshops.

Bookmark, Spalding

Bookmark, Spalding

The first is Bookmark, Spalding’s very distinguished bookshop (the CEO of the Booksellers Association, Tim Godfray, has even been known to serve behind the till there on occasion). Bookmark very generously offered to host the Sausage Hall publication day party, which took place in the evening of November 17th, after the day that I spent at Spalding High School. The event was masterminded by Christine Hanson, the owner of the shop (who is both practical and imaginative – she fixed both a toilet roll holder and a broken table joint within minutes of my arrival, while the shop itself, resplendent with its Christmas stock and decorations, achieved a standard that I’d have dearly liked to replicate in my bookselling days), and Sam Buckley, also a former pupil of Spalding High School, who organises author sessions at the shop. Equally generously, the launch party was sponsored by Adams and Harlow, the local pork butchers, who supplied sausage rolls for the occasion.

Having fun at Bookmark

Having fun at Bookmark

This event was attended by members of Bookmark’s lively reading group and some old friends of my own. I was astounded to see Finola, a day-job friend – she had driven for more than an hour from Cambridge in order to support me. I was also staunchly supported by Madelaine, one of my oldest friends, and her husband, Marc, who have both offered me hospitality every time I’ve returned to Spalding as Christina James and also bought many copies of my books as presents for everyone they know who might enjoy them.

With Madelaine at Bookmark

With Madelaine at Bookmark

Madelaine’s contribution to my writing is acknowledged in Sausage Hall. I was also delighted to see Sarah Oliver, whom I first met at the Priory Academy last spring and who came with her husband. The book club members, who lived up to their reputation for being engaged and vivacious, were shrewd and perceptive: as well as listening attentively to two readings from Sausage Hall, they launched into an animated discussion about all three DI Yates novels. Everyone present bought at least one of the books, some more than one. (Sam Buckley later this week let me know that one member of the audience, who had not read any of the novels and took away with her In the Family, returned within forty-eight hours, having read it, to acquire Almost Love and Sausage Hall as well!) And, of course, I couldn’t myself resist making a few purchases in this fairy-tale bookshop.
Having spent the night with my son and daughter-in-law at their house in Cambridgeshire, I arrived in good time on Tuesday November 18th for a signing session at Walkers Bookshop in Stamford. Although I first met Tim Walker, its owner, last year (he’s currently President of the Booksellers Association), I had not visited one of his bookshops before, The one in Stamford is in a listed building in the town centre; he also owns another in Oakham. I was particularly impressed by the huge range of stock in this shop, both the cards and gifts downstairs and the extensive range of books upstairs. Tim and the manager, Jenny Pugh, were respectively at the other shop and taking holiday, but everything had been set up for me and Mandy, the assistant manager on the book floor, couldn’t have made me more welcome.

Signing Sausage Hall for Elaine and Sheila at Walkers, Stamford

Signing Sausage Hall for Elaine and Sheila at Walkers, Stamford

Bookmark and Walkers are two fine examples of thriving independent bookshops, packed with atmosphere and individual charm and led by brilliantly creative people who understand how to serve their communities very well indeed. It was a privilege and a pleasure for me to have been able to enjoy what they had to offer and I’d very much like to thank Christine and Tim for hosting Sausage Hall events this week.

Walkers, Stamford

Walkers, Stamford

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§ 4 Responses to Two events for Sausage Hall in two amazing bookshops

  • vallypee says:

    You are having a very exciting week! It will seem very dull once all the festivities are over 🙂 What strikes me most is the warmth of these events. I’m guessing that is something you radiate yourself. All these smiles are a reflection of what you convey – rather in contrast to the chilling subject of your books! 🙂

    • I honestly couldn’t live life the way I have this week for much longer than a week! So, dull will be good for a while! So much to catch up on that I’ve had to shelve these past few days. Thank you for the compliment, but I think the audiences at all the events were exceptionally good at looking on the bright side of life, de dum, de dum etc. 😉

  • mauveone2014 says:

    What a busy week you are having!! I bought your book on Wednesday and am more than half the way through it … don’t know who did it though!

    • Marjorie, you are just lovely and have become a real friend to me both at Wakefield and here on the blog! If writers get anywhere with their books, it’s because of people who support them in the way that you do. I hope that you know just how much I value your support and how pleased I am to welcome you back here again and again. Equally, I hope that ‘Sausage Hall’ really does fulfil your expectations. Whatever your judgement, let me know. 🙂 Have a very good w.e.

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