The Choc Lit authors Girls’ Night In at Waterstone’s, Bury St Edmunds on Thursday was a great success. Thanks to everybody in the audience – it was a sell out!
You can see me, here, doing my bit. Chris Stovell’s lovely husband was kind enough to do the photograph (thanks, Tom!) and they sent me several photos of me in full flood. I hadn’t realised what extraordinary faces I pull when talking.
You can read more about the whole event at the Choc Lit Authors blog.
Last night, for the second time, I joined the Let’s Talk About Love group, this time at Gants Hill Library, Essex. I love panel events because you can chat amongst yourselves and make the audience laugh and it ends up being more of a ‘cuppa and a chat’ event than a ‘oh no! I’ve got to speak!’ event. The audience were initially shy with their questions but then made up for it with questions such as ‘Don’t you miss your characters when you’ve finished a book?’ (‘Yes!’) And, ‘Would you like your books made into films?’ (‘Yes!’)
Jean Fullerton ably chaired, and fellow panellists were Sheila Norton/Olivia Ryan, Heidi Rice and fellow Choc Lit author, Juliet Archer.
Thanks to Nick and the Gants Hill Library staff for making us welcome.
BUT, here comes the whinge – nothing to do with the library or event – is the new parking arrangements at my home town railway station. The car park used to have the system where you paid for your ticket when you left your car. Now they’ve changed it to paying on foot when you return, at the end of your travel. In some ways, it’s a good idea because I’ve been in the situation where I’ve been worried about missing my train yet had to queue for a ticket before I could leave. But when I got back to the station last night at nearly midnight, one machine wasn’t working at all and the other had decided to decline credit cards. So I was messing around with this thing, late at night, on my own, the station no longer manned – and I couldn’t get my car out!
It was horrid. At first I didn’t realise that it was only the credit card aspect that wasn’t working, until a guy came gasping up. He’d gone back to his car to scrabble around for change because of the machine declining cards and had still come up 20p short. I gave him 20p and he showed me that the cash part was still functional, so I was able to get the car out eventually. Phew.
And where they’ve placed the machines that take your ticket, ie at the barriers as you drive in and out, they’re on the inside of a curve, which means it’s really difficult to get close enough to reach through the window without kerbing your alloys. (An offence punishable by divorce, in my family.)
In fact, leaving – me being short and having a sore shoulder – I had to open the car door a bit to reach. This can’t be a safe situation for a woman travelling alone late at night!
So I came home muttering and cussing.
And I really feel like writing to East Midlands Trains about it.
But I have work to do. 🙂