Saturday, July 14, 2001

American Gods Blog, Post 126

Got up this morning at 6.50 to head off to Norwich (an acronym, Alan Bennett once wrote in a comedic sketch, for "Knickers off ready when I come home") for an 11.00am signing. If this seems a bit of an early start to you, remember that Norwich is the only city that Lucy Ramsey ever got Terry Pratchett to a signing to late, and that she wasn’t ever going to let it happen again.

It’s 10.00 am now, and so we’re cruising through Norwich looking for breakfast...

...there, and by the magic of the new paragraph break, we had breakfast and then I did a signing in Ottakar’s of Norwich – nice people (I always say that, don’t I? Well, it’s always been true of the people at the signings, and on this tour it’s been true of all the people who run the shops. It’s not always like that – every author will tell you horror stories of irritable store staff who view the author’s presence in the store as an unaccountable intrusion. Normally in these cases they also didn’t ever bother to do anything to tell anyone you were coming to their store so you’re not just a bother, but a demoralised bother because nobody came. My last one of those -- I’d managed to forget it until I was reminded by Lucy -- was at W.H. Smith’s in Brighton in 1999.).

Was hoping for review coverage of American Gods today, and didn’t see any (most of the review coverage I saw was for children’s books, inspired by yesterday’s Carnegie Award). On the other hand, we’re in at #9 in the Independent book list; while the Times has a list of the fastest selling books, and we came in at #4 as the second fastest-selling hardback fiction book in the UK (after Tony Parsons’ new novel) which has to be a good thing, as it means we’re selling through the people in bookshops and through word of mouth.

So, now in car en route to Canterbury....

...Canterbury signing was lovely. A great one to end the UK signing tour with. Saw Dave McKean and family, and just got back to the hotel (at 2.00 a.m.).

And that was today, except that I also answered a nice e-mail from an Entertainment Weekly journalist about this journal, and failed to answer an e-mail from a New York Times journalist about this journal (tomorrow, I suppose).

Oh, and during the Q&A someone asked if I really was existing on nothing but sushi, and I had to admit that my peregrinations around the UK had been practically Sushi free. F’r example, tonight I ate – before the signing – at the CafĂ© Des Amis in Canterbury, which is Dave Mckean’s favourite Mexican restaurant. Sometimes he just goes there with his notebook and sketches or thinks, and he wound up designing and doing all the art on their menu and notecards and stuff, because he wanted it to look nice.

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