Monday 24 September 2018
Launching Gallows Court
I've never had a launch party for one of my novels in London before, but Head of Zeus did me proud last week with the launch of Gallows Court at Hatchards in Piccadilly, a lovely venue and London's most historic bookshop. I arrived at the venue on a high, given that the book had just received fantastic reviews in The Times and The Sunday Express, as well as on various blogs and other sites. So I was very much in the mood to celebrate.
And what a fun occasion it was. Many years ago, when I was being published by Transworld, a senior editor gloomily warned me not to get over-excited about launches, and I've never forgotten that. But things are different with Head of Zeus. It really was a wonderful evening and the turnout was terrific.
Barry Forshaw was signed up to conduct a short QandA with me, and he handled it with his customary aplomb. Gary Stratmann kindly took photographs and I'm grateful to him and also to Sven Pehla for the photos accompanying this post.
Among many others, I was delighted to see my former agent, Mandy Little, her successor James Wills, my editor at Harper Collins, David Brawn, and my former editor (from my days with Hodder) Kate Lyall Grant, along with fellow crime writer and music agent Paul Charles. I'd lunched with Paul and chatted to Kate a week earlier in Florida: small world, huh? Simon Brett, my predecessor as President of the Detection Club, came along, and so did Sheila Mitchell, widow of Simon's predecessor, Harry Keating, Bodies from the Library organisers, and the family of CWA founder Roy Vickers. It was great to see Robert Thorogood, creator and writer of the hit TV series Death in Paradise (who kindly gave a lovely quote for the book) and also Gordon Griffin, a terrific actor who has recorded many of my audio books. There were also numerous CWA chums including Mike Stotter, Linda Stratmann, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Ali Karim, Ayo Onatade, and Chrissie Poulson, other fellow writers such as Robert Thorogood, the lovely guy who created and writes Death in Paradise, blogging friends like Moira Redmond, and Golden Age enthusiasts like Sven, Seona Ford from the Dorothy L. Sayers Society, and Geoff Bradley, editor of CADS.
Among a group of guests whom I first got to know at university were two guys I'd last seen when I took my degree - a very long time ago indeed. Wonderful to see them again after all this time. I very much appreciate the efforts of Nic Cheetham, Suzanne Sangster and the rest of the Head of Zeus team to make the event a success. And I was truly grateful that so many nice people took the time to help me celebrate a book that means a good deal to me.