BBC Radio interviews, Derby Telegraph photo-shoots and coffee for World Book Night!

Hello People, how are you? It’s been something of a crazy busy week; let’s all breathe a collective sigh that it’s Friday today! It was World Book Night on Wednesday and as I was chosen to be a WBN Giver for the third consecutive year in a row (triple whoop), there was fun, frolics and caffeinated commotion aplenty.

In between interviews at BBC Radio Derby, The Derby Telegraph and photo shoots plus hosting an event at The Good Green Café, it was something of whirlwind fab-tastic day. Here is yours truly as featured in The Derby Telegraph, for the full article, click here. For the radio interview, click this link here (I’m on at circa 2hr 44min into the broadcast by the lovely Charles Nove).

My chosen book for distribution this year was the awesome and thrill-tastic ‘The Perfect Murder’ by Peter James, along with five signed copies of my debut novel Screaming Snowflakes. There’s some sort of special joy in giving out free books to people who don’t read, call it an ethical challenge, if you will. I handed out books on the streets of Derby just outside The Good Green Café where I had set up base. Inside the café, I had a tonne of books donated very kindly by Stuart Morris of Eagle Books, along with quizzes downloaded from the World Book Night website, which readers could take away with them. I had a blast with Lucy and Darren from The Derby Telegraph, photographers extraordinaire who painstakingly perfected many shots and whom I think deserve a medal for their contagious enthusiasm alone.

And the reason why I chose The Good Green Café? Because I find reading a good book and drinking coffee goes hand in hand (pun intended). And the café also happen to do the best coffee in town. Many thanks to Marta and Kasia for being so accommodating, you guys rock. There’s talk about setting up a bookish “thing”, watch this space.

So, why give away books and what’s the big deal about April 23? For those of you who don’t know what World Book Night is, I’ll give you a 20 second whistle-stop tour (set your stop-clocks, 3-1-2- go!). *Takes deep breath* WBN is a celebration of reading, set up to champion a mass engagement project run by the charity The Reading Agency. The date is symbolic because it’s Shakespeare’s birth and death day (morbidly cool or what), as well as Cervantes death day. April 23 is also St. George’s Day (St. George is the patron saint of Catalonia AND England – see, you learn new things every day). Traditionally in Barcelona, Spanish gentlemen gave their ladies roses (pretty dudey, huh), who in turn returned the favour with a book. I love this tradition and think it should be made compulsory in the UK (oh the things I would do if I were Prime Minister).

WBN is such a fantastic initiative to get people talking about books. The number one excuse for people not reading is that they just don’t have the time. And as a new Patron of Reading, I cannot be more passionate about reading. I really, really recommend carrying a book around with you. Even if you’re reading for five minutes in a doctor’s waiting room, that’s five minutes’ worth of delicious brain exercise that you’re getting to indulge in. It was great connecting with readers, avid and reluctant alike and I’m already counting down to the next WBN. Before I forget, I also owe a quick mention to The Babington Arms, who kindly let me leave my mini-mountain of books behind the bar whilst I flitted across town between interviews. Tom, you officially rock. And on that note, I hope you all have a fantastic Friday.