Hard to believe it’s almost Easter. I battled through snow and ice to my signings in East Yorkshire last Saturday. The views from the train window made up for the icy blasts. This is the landscape David Hockney has made famous through his fabulous paintings. No vibrant yellows and greens last weekend, but sodden grass, bare trees against a white sky, snow-covered fields and the stillest scarecrow I have ever seen, with not a bird in sight to challenge him.
I’m enjoying the book signings because you never know what to expect. Made my first visit to Beverley and it won’t be the last. At W H Smiths in Hull, a woman in a wheelchair gave me her recipe for stew and dumplings. She was on her way home where hers was waiting in the oven. It would have been rude to mention books. I have taken to bringing a box of Roses chocolates or Celebrations. Lots of schoolchildren have been coming into the stores with their World Book Day vouchers so the sweeties and chocs prove popular.
Thanks to my publisher, I now have a huge pop-up banner featuring the book covers. This doesn’t stop people asking me to direct them to the maps/cafe/biographies. I’m always happy to do so, providing I know where they are. We authors should probably be given a guided tour before the signing starts, and a list of FAQ.
The good thing about these events is that despite the weather lots of Kate Shackleton mysteries have been bought by Kate’s fans as well as by new readers who are willing to take a punt on a writer who supplies chocolates and bookmarks. Bribery and corruption – moi? Never!
On Good Friday and Easter Saturday I’ll be in Waterstones, York and Harrogate. I was there this time last year when we had an unexpected and hugely welcome early summer, with tourists and everything. It lasted a week. Hold that memory.