It was signing day! Waking up in the morning, I was very anxious as we loaded the car with publicity cards and a lovely bowl of sweets (Lips and teeth as we were giving away Killing Kisses). Although this was not my first signing it was my first signing at a major store ... and not just any store, but Waterstones in The Trafford Centre, the largest shopping centre in Europe. I was later told that the bookshop alone gets around 30,000 visitors per week at this time of year.
As I was straightening my hair and fighting with my daughter over who needed to use the mirror most to apply make-up, my partner discovered that we had a flat tyre. Great! I was in a major panic, because this could mean that we wouldn’t make it on time; I hate being late for anything and I was nervous enough as it was!
Fortunately it wasn't a flat, just some mysterious leak had flattened it but it pumped up fine at the local garage and has stayed inflated since.
We set off for the Trafford Centre and the going seemed good until we hit the notorious M60. Here the cars were queueing back off the exit to the Trafford Centre onto the motorway, just an indication of how busy it gets there before Christmas.
We parked up easily enough and the three of us traipsed from the car with our goodies and into The Orient – the food halls at the entrance to the mall. The smell of the various food outlets assailed our senses as we walked through, but I was too tense and excited to even think of eating anything.
Within minutes we arrived at the Waterstones store. I was so buzzed to find a table there, all laid out and displaying copies of my book and with huge Waterstones banners cornering off the area. We were immediately joined by the store’s event organiser and the store manager who made us really welcome.
The shop had only just opened and it was already filled with people: there was a real buzz. Christmas was in the air and there were a few friends already there waiting to see me, which was very much appreciated as I needed to see some friendly faces.
I was so pleased and surprised to see some folks there who'd bought the original version of the book. Special hugs to Elizabeth, an ex-pupil of mine. She said she'd found out about the event because she reads my blog! And also to Gemma, who brought along the original edition for me to sign, but who also bought the new version - thanks Gem!
We were giving out 'Killing Kisses' to passersby as well as the promotional cards for the signing and I smiled nicely, hoping to attract some incidental sales.
We quickly sold a few books and during this time, Terry, my publisher texted to say he’d had a flat tyre on the way to bring a promotional banner! It was too spooky for words!
A few more Killing Kiss sweeties and cards later we sold more books, and Terry finally arrived – he’d been on the road for 6 hours toiling through snow and rain as well!! What a star!
We finally packed up at 4pm, happy that there had been a lot of interest in the book and that everyone we met seemed very pleased to see us. The shop seemed happy as well and asked me to sign all the remaining books for them ... so if you want a signed copy for Christmas and are near the Trafford Centre ... you know where to go.