Yesterday I did a book signing at the wonderful store that WHSmith have in the Bentall Centre in Kingston. I met some truly interesting people there, many of whom bought a signed copy of my latest novel, Expulsion.
One of the first people I met was a lady who loved Phillipa Gregory’s novels and quite took to mine, having read the first page. She recommended Patricia Cornwell’s book Ripper which connects this notorious killer with the painter Walter Sickert. A must read for me! A guy who also bought a copy had this amazing theory that Jimmy Saville was a member of MI5! I doubt it but a thought provoking view.
One of my afternoon encounters was with a man who knew a lot about nuclear fusion and the Thorium reactor. It turned out that he was a builder with a consuming interest in all things likely to help our survival on this planet.
Another man told me I was holding the book wrongly. He told me to hold it so potential buyers could read the title and see the cover, something I hadn’t thought of before, despite my twenty or so signings to date! I thanked him as he was about to leave the store. ‘By the way, what’s it about?’ he said. ‘The expulsion of the Moors from Spain, said I. ‘I’ll have it,’ he smiled!
A man in his sixties, I imagine, knew a lot about the Moors and their invasion of the Peninsula. We spent ages chatting about the ‘Reconquest’. I felt sure he’d buy a copy. Then he wished me luck and went. Five minutes later he re-appeared with his wife whom he’d told about Expulsion. ‘We had to come back to buy it. Dedicate it to Sue!’, he laughed.
And finally, a guy who said he was from Jamaica stopped by. I said I thought I recognised him. ‘You should,’ he said. ‘I bought a copy of your “Emerald of Burgos” when you did a signing upstairs in Waterstones about two years ago!’
Last of all, I thank Alex, the new manager in this flagship store for allowing me to do the signing and his friendly staff who helped me set up and encouraged me the whole time I was there. Many thanks to you all.