No, not that sort of working out – it’s been a couple of years since I set foot in a gym and really feel too lazy to do anything about remedying that at the moment… I’m talking about The Works shops. The Works stores are a mecca for stationery, jigsaws, books, arty stuff and more, and now I finally have a book in the stores!
It’s one of the things that people have muttered about me, and also to me – ‘well you can’t be a proper author if your books aren’t in the shops’. There is one memorable moment when someone asked me whether I could recommend a timeslip author – I pointed to myself and they said, ‘no, no, no, I mean a proper timeslip author.’ I’m not quite sure what I was meant to think at that point.
The reality is that I think I am a proper author, but up until now, my books have largely been available online and not on shelves, unless you count library shelves (yay) and the Whitby Bookshop. Although that’s not always been great being in there either. Someone once sent me a pic of my book in that shop, and I asked did they buy it. ‘God no,’ they said. And when I was doing a book signing there with Jane Lovering, someone came and asked us whether ‘we’ sold a ghost story book from a particular author. We just stared at him, and Jane reached over and plucked the book from the shelf, still staring at him, and said ‘we’re selling our own books, we also write.’
But now I do have a book in The Works, and it is on the shelves, and soon I hope to see it for sale myself. Friends have very kindly been buying it, messaging me about which branch they’ve seen it in, and sending me pics of it, which is fab. One friend actually bought the last one on the shelf and sent me a snap of the gap. That made me smile.
The book in question is Christmas on the Isle of Skye and it’s in the three for a fiver deal. It’s a special edition, deliberately made longer than the ebook to sell in the shop, and my hope is that people will like it, look up my back catalogue and buy another book. Is the book a loss leader, then? I don’t know – it’s a jolly good price, though, whatever you decide to do afterwards. And if you buy it and read it, I hope you go on to find my other books as well and enjoy those too.