Well, I survived it – and I think it could be viewed as a success. My ‘first public appearance’ that is.
I sold books, I signed books. I managed to get there in time to set up my stall (just!). I survived more than three hours chatting to people of all types – apart from any avowed Lancastrians or Tudorites, that is: possibly any who were there were too daunted by my overtly Ricardian stall to approach!
So all in all a good day at the North Halifax Grammar School Christmas fayre. (It seemed pretty busy the whole time, so I hope the same can be said for other stallholders and the Parents’ Association themselves.)
It certainly has given me confidence to approach other events, especially those with a more obvious history/Richard III/Wars of the Roses focus. While the chance of heated debate might be greater, so too may be the opportunity to sell more books – and given yesterday’s showing at a non-targeted event, that’s rather promising for numbers of sales.
And it’s fascinating – as I mentioned in my last post – how fellow Ricardians seem to come out of the woodwork at times you least expect them. The very first person to approach my stall yesterday was a former member of the Richard III Society (former because, as he said, life gets in the way of so many things as you get older – but he has been following events keenly over the past few years). Several other people chatted about how unfairly King Richard has been maligned and discussed their theories as to what happened to the ‘princes in the Tower’ (the point at which I was disappointed not to have my copy of Matthew Lewis’s ‘Survival of the Princes in the Tower’ on my stall – but, rest assured Matthew, I pointed them all in its direction!)
Other conversations veered across holidays spent roving around France in the footsteps of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the differences between traditional and self-publishing (with another local author of children’s/YA fiction), the historical accuracy or otherwise of ‘The White Queen/The White Princess’, and the origin of the name of one person I signed a book to (Lotka – apparently named after his father’s favourite scientist!)
So emboldened by all this, it’s off to my first face-to-face approach to a bookshop – the new Bookworms children’s bookshop in the beautiful newly restored Piece Hall in Halifax. Wish me luck!