Over the weekend, I did my much publicised book signing at the superb WHSmith store in the enormous Centre Court shopping mall, in Wimbledon. I’m delighted to report it was a tremendous success. I won’t tell you how many I sold but all my expectations were exceeded, thanks to all those perceptive customers who showed such interest in the two books I was promoting: ‘Return to Madrid’, my latest, and ‘Expulsion’ my previous one.
And what an interesting range of customers they were! Two ladies from Madrid bought both books, as soon as they saw they were set in Spain. Several people who had bought ‘Expulsion’ at my pre- Christmas signing decided to by ‘Return’ as well. One lady parked her bike outside and came up to chat, saying she had no intention of buying any books. We had quite a discussion full of banter about our respective ages. She said, ‘You’ve cheered me up no end so I have to buy one of your books!’ And she did!
This lady, insisted in having a picture of the two of us, taken by her granddaughter! And this guy is the Lebanese owner of the ‘Cedar’ restaurant in South Wimbledon. I promised him this little bit of publicity if he bought one of my books!
So, many thanks to Samantha, the new manager at WHSmith, Centre Court and her friendly, encouraging staff, for making me feel so welcomed in this flagship store.
Once again and thanks to the invitation from the new manager, Samantha, I shall be signing copies of ‘Return to Madrid’ and ‘Expulsion’ at WHS in Wimbledon Centre Court, this Saturday and Sunday from 11a.m to 4p.m.
By all means drop by, if only for a chat. £1 for each book I sell will go to the Rotary Charity, End Polio Now. This is made up to £3 by the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation.
Hello again or welcome to my blog if you are a first time visitor.
Just a week or so ago my friend Chris and I attended an unforgettable Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. The two works in the programme were Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto and Bruckner’s 7th Symphony, another of my favourites. (Followers of my blog and website may remember that I am totally addicted to the music of Anton Bruckner to the extent that I cannot imagine life without it!). The orchestra: The Vienna Philharmonic.
The soloist in the Beethoven was Nathaniel Ax but the star of the show was one of the most famous of our living conductors, none other than Bernard Haitink. What made this such an historical occasion was that it was almost certainly the last Haitink performance we will hear in London. Last week he performed the same concert in Lucerne, probably his final showing there. He has however said he is taking a ‘sabbatical’ so who knows if he may actually appear on the rostrum again, even though he is now 90 years old.
Nathaniel Ax was brilliant in the Beethoven especially in the subtle opening chords and in the slow movement where his control of the rhythms was exquisite. I felt he had the orchestra in his hands! Excuse the pun! Haitink is a wonderful performer of Bruckner and this performance of the 7th was probably the best I’ve heard. Its one of Bruckner’s most lyrical symphonies, full of stunning tunes, especially in the first and slow movements. I just love the thing!
I spent three incredibly interesting days, over the weekend, talking to customers and signing quite a number of copies of ‘Return to Madrid’ and ‘Expulsion’. The venue was WHSmith’s great store in the Wimbledon, Centre Court Shopping Mall.
One lady was about to fly to Guadalajara, Spain, on holiday and when I told her that ‘Expulsion’ starts right there, in that very city, she just had to buy a copy; and she bought ‘Return to Madrid, at the special price of £16 for the two.
This guy used to Live in Madrid so just had to buy one of each book. His son, who also spoke fluent Spanish, took this super picture of his dad and me!
One man, on his way to the tennis, said he didn’t have time for me to explain what they were about so grabbed two and bought them straight off. ‘I just have to support local authors,’ he said, dashing toward the tills. ‘I’m an author, myself!’
So a very successful weekend, thanks to Ashley Keogh the store Manager who invited me to do the signings, and Kelly, Kinfuja, Rosalind, Raphael and all the rest of the staff at this great shop for helping me to set up and encouraging me.
Today is the last day of my signing session at WHSmith’s Centre Court, Wimbledon. So do drop by for a chat and a look at my display of books! I’m there from 11 to 3: you can’t miss me: I’m right at the front of the shop!
‘Return to Madrid’ and ‘Expulsion’ for sale as a package at a bargain price of £16!
…and come to my book signings! I’m at WHSmith’s fabulous store in the Centre Court shopping mall, in Wimbledon tomorrow and Sunday, the 13th and 14th of July, promoting sales of my latest novel, ‘Return to Madrid’ and my previous one, ‘Expulsion’, both set in 17th century Spain.
‘Expulsion’ is £10.99 and ‘Return’ is £9.99 but if you buy both they are at the bargain price of £16.00! Wow!
So please drop in, if only for a natter about the books. I’ll willingly tell you what they are about even if you don’t buy one! I just love talking about them anyway!
So, maybe I’ll see you over the weekend! I’m in the store from 11am until 3.30pm, with a short break around 1pm for a spot of lunch at Costa’s.
I had a really interesting couple of day’s book signing in WH Smith’s store in Sutton High Street last Saturday and Sunday.
You always meet some interesting people on these occasions. I met this guy from California, USA, who was so impressed that I was an author actually making an appearance in a shop, he immediately bought a copy of each of Expulsion and Return to Madrid, without even asking what they were about!
A lady from Kenya was also a keen buyer. Her husband loved historical novels and Spain so she bought the two books as well.
Several people noticed that I published books as well as writing them. A local lady is very keen for me to publish her autobiography and I’m looking at her fascinating manuscript right now. Well not as this exact moment but you know what I mean!
So thank you, Simon Bruckland, the store manager, for inviting me in, and his staff, Dawn in particular, for helping and encouraging me in my efforts. A thoroughly interesting couple of days!