Eight months on from publication of A Very Important Teapot, and despite the unexpected and unhelpful intervention of Mr Covid-19, I am delighted and humbled by the large number of generous and enthusiastic responses I have received to the book. Especially those received in writing; my hugest thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. All this means that the hard work involved in writing and editing it have proved more than worthwhile and confirms that Claret Press’s decision to take a chance on this elderly, unknown writer’s first book was a wise and just one.
Obviously, whilst I’m happy with sales in the several hundreds, I would have been even happier with sales in the several hundreds of thousands. But hey, I’m not a celebrity. And it’s early days, after all. Perhaps that person who bought a copy from Mostly Books in Abingdon last week will love it and perhaps he or she will have the reach to get that love to millions of other readers. Who knows?
As for what next, well, the Oxford Indie Book Fair, originally due to take place on 4 April, is now scheduled for 21 November and, unless there’s a second coronavirus spike, will probably happen. The downside of that is that I will be in Australia (no, not researching my next book) at that time, but I have a substitute stallholder lined up, so all is not lost. Claret Press will also be there, incidentally, so pop along. It’ll be well worth it.
I’m currently due to give a talk at Carterton Library, Oxfordshire at 6.30 on Friday 24 July. Obviously that is in severe doubt, although it has yet to be cancelled. I’d love to see you there if it’s on. These are the sorts of things I may say:
I’ll update this website and my A Very Important Facebook page with information about the talk and any other possible events, real or virtual, moving forward.
Next news is that I finished writing a first draft of a sequel to Teapot (Dawson and Lucy – what happened next) a couple of months ago and that is currently being critiqued by three highly intelligent beta-readers before I start the laborious task of whipping it into some sort of shape for publication. It’s currently titled River Deep, Mounting Lies, although that may change. It’s not set in Australia this time but Estonia. If you enjoyed Teapot (and I suspect you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t), then you should love River Deep.
A Very Important Teapot is a comedy thriller set largely in Australia, with a main protagonist, Dawson, who gets caught up in events way outside his comfort zone when he is offered an unspecified job by his best friend. All sorts of mayhem ensue, involving gangsters, diamonds, the espionage agencies of three different countries, the local police and folk music.
As for me, I was born and brought up in Guildford in a house with a river at the bottom of the garden. This makes me sound quite posh, but it wasn’t a very big house, and it wasn’t a very big river. I was sent away to boarding school for nine years, which again makes me sound quite posh, but the school was several hundred rungs down the ladder from Eton and was so small that I could take French or Art at O level but not both. I, therefore, gained one fewer O level than I should have done. O levels, of course, have long since ceased to exist, as has the school, incidentally.
Over the course of the following millennia, I moved from Surrey to Oxfordshire via Buckinghamshire, collecting, as one does, a wife and family and several recalcitrant cats en route, and surviving a wide variety of employment experiences. These included local government officer, bingo club manager, estate agent, several jobs selling unwanted goods and services to reluctant buyers and, briefly and much to my surprise, prison officer. I now sit in the corner of an office being generally useful and making lots of coffee, while the younger people around me ask what O levels were and how people survived without satnavs and mobile phones. And whether the whole of life was in black and white, or was that just television. The answer to which is of course yes.