From Wakefield to Covent Garden, ‘Sausage Hall’ has found great friends!

09 +00002014-11-23T17:56:14+00:0030 2012 § 6 Comments

Launching 'Sausage Hall' at Wakefield

Launching ‘Sausage Hall’ at Wakefield

This is the final post on my launch week activities for Sausage Hall.  I’m covering the last two events: Tea at Sausage Hall, an imaginative tea-party given last Wednesday by Alison Cassels, Lynne Holroyd, Claire Pickering and their colleagues at the Wakefield Library at Wakefield One, which regular readers of this blog will know has provided me with granite-strength support ever since In the Family was published two years ago,

Tea at Sausage Hall (And yes, there was cake!)

Tea at Sausage Hall (And yes, there was cake!)

and an evening of conversation and readings at the Covent Garden branch of Waterstones, rounding off the celebrations with a London launch on Thursday.

Ever resourceful, Alison and her team provided sausage rolls, cake (Yes, there was cake!) and biscuits for the tea party.  (Her e-mail to me when organising the event reads ‘Can you put chocolate cake in the title of your next book?’)

Lynne Holroyd, the liveliest purveyor of refreshments I've ever known!

Lynne Holroyd, the liveliest purveyor of refreshments I’ve ever known!

A warm welcome, as always, from Alison Cassels

A warm welcome, as always, from Alison Cassels

As always, she promoted the occasion superlatively well and attracted a lively and engaging audience, amongst whom were old friends (such as Marjorie and Pauline – both also fab visitors to my blog) from the library’s book club, as well as many interesting new faces.

There’s obviously a lively and diverse events programme at Wakefield One: under the table bearing the tea-cups was a box containing a plastic skeleton (I was rather disappointed that someone arrived to remove it, as a suitable visual aid never goes amiss), while high on one of the shelves was a stuffed green parrot in a glass case.  (My husband dared me to say ‘Norwegian Green?  Is it nailed to its perch?’, but, though tempted, I’m afraid I failed to rise to the occasion, having on my mind things other than late parrots gone to meet their maker.)

Wakefield One audiences are truly wonderful.
Wakefield 6
Wakefield 5
They are united in their love of books and reading, and not afraid to tell it how it is.  I’m delighted that they like my novels, because they would certainly tell me if they didn’t – during the course of the afternoon, they told me exactly what they thought of the work of a writer who is much better known than I am!  As well as being extremely perspicacious, they’re fun and they like to have fun.
Wakefield 3
Wakefield 4
They know what they want and they want more of it: I’ve already promised to return to talk to them about DI Yates numbers 4 and 5.  It was my first Wakefield audience that told me how much they enjoyed reading about Juliet Armstrong and that they’d like to see more of her.  I hope that they’ll think I’ve done so in Sausage Hall, where Juliet’s story takes a new turn.

Several of the Wakefield readers had already bought Sausage Hall and came armed with it for me to sign.  Others bought it during the tea-party; as at my other Wakefield events, the books were kindly supplied by Rickaro Books in Horbury.  A man in the audience asked for an interesting, and very relevant, inscription (see caption): apparently, these are the nicknames of his brother and sister-in-law!
Wakefield 2

To Pig and Sausage, with love!

To Pig and Sausage, with love!

The event at Waterstones Covent Garden was masterminded by Jen Shenton, the bookshop’s lovely ‘can-do’ manager.

Waterstones Covent Garden Manager Jen Shenton welcomes me to her beautiful bookshop

Waterstones Covent Garden Manager Jen Shenton welcomes me to her beautiful bookshop

I hadn’t met her before, but as soon as I saw her I knew what a distinguished bookseller she is.  It’s something you can’t fake: I honestly believe that the best booksellers  are born, not made, though that’s not to say they don’t work hard all the time in order to stay ahead.  I didn’t leave Jen’s shop until almost 9 p.m., and she was still there behind the till, helping customers, smiling and looking as fresh as a daisy, even though she must have been feeling exhausted.
Waterstones 1
This event also had a wonderful audience.
Waterstones 8
Waterstones 7Waterstones 3
Waterstones 9
Waterstones 6
Waterstones 4
Waterstones 2
Waterstones 5
Many of my friends from the book industry came (which meant they bowled me a few googlies when it came to the questions).  It was a light-hearted, laughter-filled evening, well lubricated with Waterstones wine and sustained by Adams & Harlow sausage rolls.  I was delighted that Tabitha Pelly, who has worked with Salt on PR for Sausage Hall, was able to come.  Like Jen Shenton, she seems never to tire or have a negative thought in her head.

I left the shop laden with some book purchases of my own and headed for King’s Cross station to catch the last train.  It was the perfect end to an extraordinary week.  My only sadness was that Chris and Jen Hamilton-Emery, my publishers at Salt, were unable to come.  But I know that they’ve been keen followers of my progress as I’ve sprung Sausage Hall upon the world and I look forward to catching up with them next week.  Today is Chris’s birthday: I’d like to take the opportunity to wish him many happy returns!
Sausages and 'Sausage Hall'
Grateful thanks, once again, to Adams and Harlow for their wonderful sponsorship of the launch of Sausage Hall.

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§ 6 Responses to From Wakefield to Covent Garden, ‘Sausage Hall’ has found great friends!

  • mauveone2014 says:

    Hi Christina, you are without a doubt the hardest working person I have ever met!!No wonder you are such a tiny person, sitting down doing nothing does not seem to be in your make up.

    I am really into your book, about three quarters through. Its so far, so good. Had to have a break from reading, been busy working a stall at a Christmas Gift Fair.

    You are right about Allison and Lynne, they work hard for the success of the Reading Groups community, there are thirty two groups in the Wakefield area that they take care of.

    Love and thanks to you.

  • vallypee says:

    I know what Marjorie is saying! What a hard working writer and professional you are. All the same, it seems as if you take joy with you wherever you go! This post is full of the vibrancy I’m sure you inject into every event you attend!

    • Audiences like the ones I’ve had this week make it a lot easier! They’ve all been marvellous and really wanted to talk! But the same is true of you, Valerie, juggling job and writing and public speaking – I’m astonished that you can knock up a flight of steps and paint a barge on top of all that! 🙂

  • cav12 says:

    Hi Christina, congratulations on a fantastic book launch!
    Luciana

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