Friday, July 20, 2007

friday the big day part 4 of 4

OK- even I, someone who spent 18 years of their life in Manchester and has 'done' rain, am impressed by what's going on outside. That is rain.

Anyway all the afternoon activities as previewed in yesterdays blog will still be going on- so brave that rain and come on down. Also- as mentioned yesterday- simon sebag montifore cannot make 7.00pm anymore but will still be here from 6.00pm until about 7.15. The rest of the evening really gets underway around 7.00pm with a galaxy of eminent historians, Michael Cady with advice on how to get published, Isabel Losada who can talk about anything and, change of plan again, Judy Krey from the New Kadampa Tradition will be here to chat with anyone about being Buddhist.

this all winds up around 9.00pm and we get the store ready for our Pre potter Party- guests, entertainment, competitions and fun from 10.00m onwards- first come, first served though we can fit quite a few people in the shop but with this rain we may all have to squeeze up a bit!

See you all here.

On a different note and one that adds some perspective to the day, Chris Dunn died last week. I don't suppose any of you have heard of Chris Dunn but he would have described himself as an author, although, in truth, he could probably more accurately be described in a Anthony Powell kind of way as 'something in the city.'
The first time I met Chris he managed to wind me up to an absolutely exceptional level. We were having a library reading group comes to the bookstore day. Chris came, was obviously not a member but when he announced he was a published author the effect was electrifying- everyone wanted to know what he did, his life style and when he said he had sold 100's of books around here (Old Brompton road) everyone wanted to see them. My stock as bookshop manager plummeted as it was apparent that not only did we not have any of these books in but i'd obviously not heard of such a successful local author- how could that be. Chris then mentioned the name of his publisher- it was a vanity publisher. To this day I still think it is to my credit (and to his detriment!) that neither of us mentioned that Chris was only a published author because he had paid for them to be published.
Anyway- years pass and our paths cross again and we get on pretty well- I read one of these books, the first in a series of 12- guess what it's good, not really my genre but I enjoyed it and could guarantee that it was better than many action/thrillers that come out each month. I gave a copy to one of my reps who I knew liked thrillers- he thought it was great- he's now read 7 of them. We tried to get editors at publishers interested, after all between the rep and I we had over 50 years experience in bookselling- i don't think we even managed to get an editor to read it.
Over several, very enjoyable, lunches Chris would keep me informed about how near his books were to being made into series but I never knew whether to believe him, there was always more than a touch of the Walter Mitty's about Chris. I'm not saying these books are great literature and neither would Chris, actually, that's proably not true- Chris would claim they were great literature and I think they may have been his biggest love. He never doubted them and never doubted that if he could just get that one lucky break they'd have been huge. I tend to agree. But there you go- that's the world of books and he accepted that.
But I wish he could have lived to have seen them published by a major publisher and, better yet, with a TV tie-in jacket.
There's no real point to this entry but just to say goodbye to Chris- I and the Pan bookshop will miss him.


saber said...

good luck with it it all, it all sounds fun, and it does feel a bit - quite a lot - odd me not being there. it's busy here in ely and there's already a nice buzz in the shop with excited kids and grownups coming in to the shop still wanting to book tickers for tonight. I'm not an owl this year, but a golden wizard.


wqber said...

and yes, it is sad about chris.