It’s So Nice to Feel Normal…
…this was one of the comments I made on Saturday evening while sitting in a London branch of Pizza Express. On Saturday, a reading took place in Sh! Hoxton (where I will be reading with Kay Jaybee in a few short weeks). There’s always a great time to be had at Sh! but this event was unique because we had a US visitor – Rachel Kramer Bussel. The reading included several of her latest books and the authors appearing in them. I wasn’t a reader on this occasion – just an avid listener. However, it was quite the star-studded evening. Readers included:
- Rachel Kramer Bussel
- K D Grace
- Kay Jaybee
- Carmel Lockyer
- Janine Ashbless
- Jacqueline Applebee
- Justine Elyot
Rachel did an introduction, then each reader did their piece in turn, with a break in the middle. Rachel concluded with another story and a Q&A – then it was signing time! I’d lugged several books down to London with me and got in the queue, where I also had a nice chat with Rachel. I also got my copies of The Business of Pleasure and On Demand signed by Justine Elyot, who I was delighted to meet for the first (and hopefully not the last!) time.
It was a fab evening and I was happy to also meet Suzanne Portnoy in the flesh, though I didn’t get chance to chat to Janine Ashbless, Rubyyy Jones, Scarlett French or Jacqueline Applebee, which was a real shame. There was just so many people around!
After the reading, however, there was more fun to be had. Myself, Victoria Blisse, K D Grace, Miss Rebecca Bond, Parv Roopray (not a writer, but a lovely attendee and fab photographer), Lexie Bay and her lovely hubby, Kay Jaybee and Justine Elyot and her lovely hubby headed off to Pizza Express. Not the most glamorous of locations, I’ll admit, but myself and a certain Ms. Bay are fussy eaters!
We piled in and were looked after well by the staff. Drink was drunk, food was munched, and lots of odd conversation took place. This is where the comment about feeling normal came in! After chatting with everyone about various things, both writing related and non – I realised we’re a fairly random bunch. What other dinner party would talk about baking, BDSM, hot celebrities (Chris Hemsworth, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, if you’re interested), editors, UK/US spelling, geeky films, travel and turtles in one evening!? I’ve no idea if our fellow diners could hear us, or what they thought – but we were too busy giggling to notice!
Sadly – as with all good things – the evening had to come to an end. We all went our separate ways and I embarked on a hellish bus journey with Miss Bond and Miss Roopray, which I would not like to repeat. However, it wasn’t all bad. I got a story idea out of it!
All in all I had an awesome – if tiring – weekend. It was soooo unbelievably cool to spend time with writers that I respect, enjoy reading and can also consider my friends. I feel very lucky to have a bunch of such fun and interesting friends. It’s just a shame we can’t meet face-to-face more often 🙁
Thanks for a wonderful weekend, everyone. And special thanks go to Miss Rebecca Bond for letting me crash at hers, and The Boy for being so incredibly well trained!