Monday, February 26, 2007

Signed, lined and dated.

Last week was half term and I was in sole charge of the kids for most of it. So not much time for blogging. I know I've been neglecting the plog recently. I can't really make amends in one post, but I will try to do better in the future. It's an exciting time for me, which seems to be going by in a blur. Whenever I get a chance I'll try to put something here, but I can't promise to be a regular or frequent blogger any more.

The week started with my seven year old son doing his bit for science. He was taking part in a language processing study which involved getting his brain scanned in Queen Square, otherwise known as Neurology Square. Just about the only building on Queen Square that is not devoted to the study or treatment of the human brain, is that given over to the offices of Faber and Faber. Very convenient for me as I was able to nip out for a quick meeting with my editor over the next Porfiry Petrovich novel, which he had just finished reading. The meeting went well. "It seems to be in very good shape," was his verdict. There's some work to do but nothing major.

Pancakes on Tuesday, of course. Then our plan for Wednesday was a visit to St Paul's to fit in with Luke's topic at school, which is The Great Fire of London. Ah, but the Wednesday after Pancake Day is of course Ash Wednesday. It turns out that St Paul's Cathedral is some sort of church! Who would have thought? They actually have services there on Ash Wednesday which means that it is closed to sightseers. We didn't get to climb the galleries. By way of consolation, we walked along to The Monument and climbed its 311 steps. The Dickensian porter at the bottom was worth the admission fee alone.

Thursday evening I had a trip to Cambridge to take part in Heffers Crime Through Time evening. I have to say it went by in a bit of a blur. People came. Some of them bought books. I signed, lined and dated them. (This is what the collectors want these days.) I was pleasantly surprised to see that Richard of Heffers had put out some copies of Taking Comfort too. I think I probably signed an equal number of each book. I was asked to sign some of the Taking Comfort copies as 'Roger Morris aka RN Morris'. Some of the people who came were undoubtedly dealers and I've already seen copies of the book advertised on the internet.

It was very pleasant chatting to the people who turned up to buy and nice to meet some of my fellow historical crime novelists, notably Lee Jackson, Frank Tallis and R.S. (Ruth) Downie.

This afternoon I'm off to do more signing. In fact, I have 500 limited edition hardbacks waiting for me at Goldsboro Books. Repetitive stress here I come. If you're a collector, the Goldsboro Books edition is the one to have.

Hot off the press

Got an early copy of the American edition (The Gentle Axe) through the post this morning. It's a hardback. And a thing of beauty. Publication date is March 22.

The back's worth a look too.


David Isaak said...

Hi, Roger.

Okay, I understand what "signing" is and I even understand "dating", but what on earth is "lining"?

Anne Brooke said...

Yes, I'm with David on this one - is it some kind of bizarre sexual ritual, or is that just my peculiar imagination???!!

Hope you enjoyed it anyway!!



roger said...

Hi David and Anne - something weird has suddenly happened. I seem to be no longer getting email notifications when people post to my blog. I wonder if I have inadvertently switched something off.

Sorry. I didn't explain. The term was new to me too - I just imagined everyone else knew what it meant! 'Lining' is where the author has to write a line from the book - often the first - as an inscription with their signature and the date. Richard, the manager at Heffers said to me 'You'll write a shorter first line next time, won't you!'

David Isaak said...

I'm having the same problem of no longer getting notifications (except of my own comments--gee, that's useful!), so I think Blogger may be having problems.

Thanks for explaining 'lining'. But, Oh. My. God. The first line of my upcoming novel is a one-sentence paragraph that runs 61 words.

That does it. Next time it's "Call me Ishmael."

Anne Brooke said...

Aha! I see - thank you! Actually, when I signed A Dangerous Man for you, Roger, I used an alternative, later line (almost) from the book - so I am starting my own version! Prizes to you if you spot where it comes from!

And I'm not getting notifications either ...