Probus, Cedar Club and Link…
…would all have meant nothing a few years ago. Then my publishers came up with some good advice.
They said, ‘Put yourself about.’
Now all the talks that were booked eighteen months ago are rolling in and it’s wonderful. And so different. Writing is a lonely occupation – hours spent in the head of (frequently) dark and troubled women. If I don’t get out, these characters become even darker and the whole process oppressive so it’s lovely to go to a bright hall and meet real people.
That’s not to say the characters aren’t real – it’s just that while they are in my head they are real only to me and our exclusive relationship becomes too intense at times.
This week’s bright halls were in East Molesey (for the Ladies Probus Club); Cobham (for the Cedar Club WI) and Ashstead (for the Link Club). The first was a well polished British Legion Hall – surprisingly spacious and comfortable and I was greeted with the happy news that all but two of the attendees hadn’t heard me before. Hurrrah! Carte Blanche. I was conscious of the two who had – had to check that they were entertained. It was a good sized audience, very responsive and friendly.
I knew the hall the Cedar Club used and it’s a treat to arrive last and find that there’s a space – an accessible one – left for the speaker.
The last hall was St Georges Centre in Ashstead - arrived at via a circuitous arrangement of roads and roundabouts and impossible signposts. I challenge anyone who doubts the existence of a God to explain the invention of sat nav. I also have to thank Gail, whose introduction was so well researched and prepared. On a freezing night the warmth of her welcome made all the difference…