Thursday, June 29, 2006

Better than Frank Skinner?

I was at a day-job related shindig last night. A few clients were there. Some of them had read my book. They all said they enjoyed it. Of course, it would have been hard for them to say anything else to my face! But it was nice to hear anyhow.

One guy, David, confessed that he doesn't read a lot of books. In fact, he was most emphatic about that and claimed that the last book he read was ten years ago. 'I don't read books, but I read yours!' he told me gleefully. 'I read it all the way through. It kept me reading. It's better than Frank Skinner's. I started his and gave up on it. I read yours instead. I really enjoyed it.'

I didn't honestly know that Frank Skinner had a book out. Before you scoff, I find David's response really gratifying. To think that I've written a book that can be read - and enjoyed - by someone who isn't particularly into reading gives me a great deal of satisfaction and, strangely, hope.

I go through phases when I completely lose confidence in the book and think that I won't try to promote it any more. Just let it be, and let people be. It's not going to be to everyone's taste, I think. I don't really have any right to push it on people. I have to admit I was in one of those troughs over the last few weeks, I think because I had another reading approaching. (Tonight at Highgate Library.) I do find the idea of standing up in front of a roomful of strangers incredibly stressful. And when I read from the book I feel very exposed.

So David's comment has given me a little boost actually. Tonight I'll be thinking, if David liked it, then maybe someone else will. And though I may not be as funny as Frank Skinner, at least I've written a book that people can finish.

1 comment:

Dr Ian Hocking said...

Best of luck tonight, Roger. A couple of 'On nodding terms with St Pancras Station' gags will warm 'em up...