Tuesday, July 10, 2001

American Gods Blog, Post 118

So the UK tour is now well underway and right now I’m happy as a sandboy (what is a sandboy? Why are they happy?) as it’s proving to be almost a holiday after the US tour.

The US tour was 90% signing, with a very few interviews.

These UK signings are – so far – proving easy: enough people at each signing to justify the signing – 60 or so at lunchtime, 150 in the evening (Manchester will be bigger). And the rest of the time is being spent doing interviews: over breakfast, over tea, in railway stations and hotel lobbies.

The difference between the US and the UK? Hmm... well, more of the copies of GOOD OMENS have been pre-signed by Terry Pratchett, so I get to do more punch lines than set up lines. More men than women – in the US it was a solid 50/50. And the lines are – I am happy to say – shorter.

This morning’s breakfast interview was with a journalist from the Scotsman – who first interviewed me when he was a young fan and I was a young comics writer over a decade ago. I got to grumble to him about the Scotsman’s attempts over the years to put together an article showing I thought that J.K.Rowling nicked Harry Potter from Tim Hunter. According to Joe from Waterstones they’ve run such an article on more than one occasion –“I think you were on the front page on a slow news day” he said. (The local METRO newspaper had an article about it when I arrived – although this was more presented as a tragedy I had survived – plucky young writer’s prize creation could have been huge but then J.K. Rowling stole his thunder sort of thing. It sort of ignored that Tim is owned lock stock and barrel by Warner bros, and that if anything I think Harry Potter has actually encouraged them to make the Books of Magic movie. But then, nobody asked me.)

Odd hotel last night – the Point Hotel in Edinburgh. It looks and feels like an elegant modernist five star sort of hotel – vast white rooms, double Jacuzzi style baths and so on – but then you start noticing that the lifts only work sporadically, the only soap in the bathroom is an empty wall-unit in the shower, that the lobby staff sent away a Taxi sent by the BBC to take Lucy Ramsey and me to Radio Scotland (the Brian Morton show. Good radio by someone literate.) because we weren’t waiting for it in the lobby, rather than calling the rooms or leaning into the bar where I was being interviewed by Scottish Book Collector (“Are you for people who collect Scottish books, or for Scots who collect books of any kind?” “Er, both really.”) and telling me the taxi was there. (The mad dash to make it to the radio station in time for the interview was the kind of thing of which heroic ballads are made.)

Which reminds me – upcoming radio appearances for people who live locally, or who like seeing whether you can find various stations on the internet:

Weds 11th July – 4.30ish GMT –
11.00pm – Andy Peebles, BBC Radio North

Thurs 12 July – 9*30pm - The Late Show BBC Radio midlands

Friday 13 July 10.00pm Gideon Coe, BBC London Live

Sunday 15th 4.00pm – Giles Brandreth, LBC


Saw the Entertainment Weekly photo. Not a bad picture at all, but the hair-and-make-up guy had managed to transform my normal tangle of barely kempt hair into something I don’t think I’ve ever seen on top of my head.


Now in Leeds in a really lovely hotel.

As far as I can establish, the UK hardback selling at 10.00 pounds (6.00 right now through is only for a limited time. So if you’re planning on waiting to get one, as a gift or whatever, you may want to get it now and put it away, as they’ll be climbing back to ₤17.99 soon enough. (This information, like all other information posted here about the UK edition, is liable to be utterly wrong. On the other hand, it turned out there were only a handful of trade paperbacks on sale in the UK, all through Borders in London -- they think -- and only for a couple of days.)

Right -- the phone rang, interviewer in the lobby. got to go.

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