I was saving this weeks blog post to tell you about the launch of Jon Mayhew’s fantastic gothic tale of terror, MORTLOCK.
At least two people, however, have already done that (rather fabulously), Candy Gourlay and Caroline Smailes , and am pretty sure Jon will do so when his feet are back on the ground. So, instead, I got to thinking about gifts. I love giving gifts. I’m not sure it’s entirely the done thing at a book launch but it does provide the perfect outlet for getting rid of things I can’t stand any more.
At the launch of Sarwat Chadda’s ‘The Devil’s Kiss’, I gave him a mace . Suitable for the Templar
theme of the book I thought, and one less weapon of minor destruction for me to have around the house tempting Small Boy into devilment. (We get given a lot of strange things by people visiting the farm.)
I was wondering whether I could get away with giving Jon a ceremonial sword left by a group of visiting Chinese dignitaries ( Josie, the heroine, is a knife-thrower after all), when I realised I had the perfect gift, sitting on my sofa, drinking all my gin.
About 3 weeks ago, this crow arrived at our back door, claiming poverty and asking for a bit of bacon rind. All humble and wind swept it was and, like a fool, I invited it in. After a few weeks of “plump my cushions and pass me the remote control”, I was getting heartily sick of it. Then I remembered.
There are crows in Mortlock. A lot of hideous crows. Who better to handle a badly behaved crow, than the man from whose mind the terrifying Ghuls sprang?
Good Plan, eh?
I told the crow we were going to visit some of his pals at the Tower and hey presto, Jon’s gift was delivered to London Town.
You get a hint of its crow personality by the way it kept foisting itself into photographs at the launch shouting, ‘I’m a crow. I’m a crow.’
I’m hoping no one else noticed it was also swigging back the vino, demanding Sausage a la Tripe and dribbling bits of eel over the hard pushed waitresses.
I know you aren’t really supposed to give animals as pets but Jon will be much firmer with the crow than I was. It’ll be a reformed character and an absolute hit on school visits. As long as they don’t let it near the lunch room. Or the staff room. Or the children.
Ah well, it’s not my problem now. It’s gone the way of the mace. It’s a Mayhew household problem (BTW Jon, keep it away from sparkly things, it goes into a hypnotic frenzy and things will get broken).
So, onto the next book launch gift. I’ve got until June for the launch of Candy Gourlay’s ‘Tall Story’ .