Sunday, 23 May 2010

All is fayre ...

words Anthony Gillam
photo Phil Richards

It's been a hectic week for the Severn Valley Authors. On Tuesday we gathered for our usual meeting where Chris presented his most recent extract from Marxism and Careful Driving. Rob was feeling somewhat under the weather with some dreadful contagious disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or some such malady. Perhaps it was even just the common cold. Whatever, Rob felt it necessary to sit at a considerable distance from the rest of the group which, for some reason, made us all behave like silly schoolchildren. There was some discussion about the nature of ‘skype’ (for the uninitiated , a software application that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet). After some inexplicable hilarity about the true meaning of the verb ‘to skype’, Chris read his extract which was greeted with extremely positive feedback from the other members of the group. Personally, I found Chris's piece a brilliant melding of high ideas with everyday detail. It seems to me that Chris is close to perfecting his experiment in blending a history of philosophy with a compelling road trip. Several members of the group felt they they would like to hear more from the perspective of the truck-driving narrator and I wouldn't disagree with this suggestion.

On Friday evening, the Severn Valley Authors reconvened at Perdiswell House in Worcester for the much-anticipated Authors’ Fayre. Chris, Rob and I were strategically positioned behind a pillar in a corner of the crowded room. Rob went into serious marketing mode, targeting every potential buyer for his novel Olympic Mind Games. Annie 'meeted and greeted' arrivals, managing to look relaxed and happy despite having spent the last few days supervising a school field trip. Linda helped Chris to man his stall promoting Chris’s epic velocipedic travelogue Why don't you fly? I managed to sell two copies of A Passenger in Time but Rob was the bestselling Severn Valley Author of the evening with a staggering three copies of Olympic Mind Games sold. Despite not being able to retire on our takings, it was an interesting evening that gave us an opportunity to meet fellow authors, young readers and even the organiser of the forthcoming Worcester Literature Festival. Linda Bromyard, whose idea this evening was, is to be congratulated for a successful and enjoyable event.

If I was heartened by the sale of two copies of A Passenger in Time on Friday, by Saturday morning I was to be living proof of the saying ' pride comes before a fall '. At a car boot sale, I happened upon a battered copy of my first book Reflections on Community Psychiatric Nursing selling for the princely sum of 25p. The full story will appear at once I've finished feeling sorry for myself. It's a funny old business this writing lark.


  1. A very amusing account, more of this Tony!

  2. You think that was 'serious marketing mode'? Wait 'til you see me in a Waterstones!

  3. So a second-hand copy of 'Reflections on Community Psychiatric Nursing' can command sums up to 25p?