The end of another successful, enjoyable tour!! I had a busy Saturday morning signing session in Chelmsford — I was there for two and a half hours, going at full speed!! The evening event in Dulwich was one of my quieter public events. I’ve been to the area quite a lot over the years, and I think maybe it’s time to give it a rest for a while — in my experience, with very few exceptions, fans do get tired of seeing the same old face rotate in year after year!!
On Sunday I was signing in Westfield for an hour and a half. I then did a talk at the Oxford Union for an expectedly small group, but in this instance the numbers weren’t a disappointment — it was an honour to be inivited there, so I was doing it for the prestige — something for my Mum to boast about!!! I really enjoyed it actually. I don’t often speak to groups of just adults, and it’s a very different vibe to speaking to a group of mixed ages. I wouldn’t like to do it all the time (I love having an audience of all ages) but it’s nice every once in a while.
I did a good school event on Monday in Leicester, though they didn’t have a microphone for me, which was annoying — I can be much more effective with a mic, especially when I’m doing voices during my readings. To be honest, one of the reasons I now do most of my school events in venues like theatres or public halls is to be able to ensure that a good mic is in place. Two things that mean a lot to me when I’m speaking to an audience — I like to have a big crowd (especially if it’s a schools event), and I like for everyone present to be able to hear every word that I say, because kids tend to fidget and chat to one another if they can’t hear a speaker and get bored!! I rounded off the tour with a nice, busy signing in Birmingham, two and a quarter hours, going full tilt, barely even time for breath!!!!
Some stats from the tour, for those who are interested… I did 12 public signings, the average signing time of which was 2 hours 30 minutes!!! Only 2 of those sessions lasted less than an hour and a half!! I met approximately 1630 kids at my 6 schools events!! And approximately 500-plus at my public events — a bit lower than it would normally be, because of the Oxford Union event and the Dulwich surprise. Busy busy!!!!!
I went to see Flight of the Conchords live in Birmingham after my last session — very enjoyable. Then, on Tuesday, I returned home. Today I went through the American proofs for Hell’s Horizon, and also trawled through the new Darren Shan web site, checking every page, making a list of tweaks and changes which we should be able to implement over the next couple of days. If all goes well, the site should be full functional and finished by early next week. I’m VERY pleased with it — much tighter and easier to navigate than before. When it’s all done and dusted, I’ll talk a bit more about it. For now — some much-deserved rest!!!