Waterstones at Piccadilly FTW.

After repeatedly saying that I intended to go into London to look at the Queen my books in an actual bookshop, I finally got around to it today.  What a thrill!  OK, the whole driving into Ely, parking in the free longstay car park and walking a mile in blazing sunshine to the train station, only to find that the train had gone and the next one wasn’t for an hour – that was a bit of a downer.  But when I’d walked back to my car, moved it into the station car park and had the drink I was all but keeling over in need of, everything started to look up.  I got into London easily enough, the tubes were no more horrible than usual, and Piccadilly Circus was cooler than it had been at home.

When I got to Waterstones, I hardly dared look, sure that – after all this – the book wouldn’t be there any more.  But there it was, on display on a table in the Gay section.  Appropriately enough it was the “Hello Sailor” table.

(I may have stood it up on the stand myself, however 😉 )

All of the Running Press books were there:

Marquesate?  “Her Majesty’s Men” was there too.

I lurked around the section for a while and spotted a lovely man taking down False Colors and looking at it.  This gave me the perfect excuse to pounce and say “That’s mine!  And incidentally, could you take a photo of me with my book?”  I probably shouldn’t have done, because I don’t get on very well with heat, and by that stage I looked like a peeled plum tomato.  But as that was the whole object of the exercise, I did it anyway.

Then – did I mention that he was a lovely man? – he bought a copy and asked me to sign it!  Woo!  I felt like a real celebrity 🙂

Emboldened by this, once I’d found a fist full of books to buy (Torchwood: Pack Animals, Hanif Kureishi: The Buddha of Suburbia, Marquesate: Her Majesty’s Men and Len Deighton: Bomber) , I asked the person on the till who I would need to contact to arrange a booksigning.  “Are you an author?” she said, and on hearing that I was an author of gay fiction she handed me over to another lovely man, who was in charge of the gay fiction section.  He told me that False Colors is one of the top sellers in the section.  Then he took me off and got me to sign all the books they had on display, and put “Signed by the Author” stickers on them.  This to me was the epitome of geeky wonderfulness.

And it was altogether such a welcoming, positive, affirming experience that – now that I have contact details for the person in Waterstones who arranges book signings – I really am going to email them and see if I can set one up.  If the worst that happens is that I sit all alone in Waterstones for an afternoon, surrounded by gay fiction, with Romance to the right of me and SF/F to the left, that doesn’t exactly sound like a hardship 🙂

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