‘The Companion’ was launched last night in the chapel at the wonderful Birchcliffe Centre in Hebden Bridge. With the help of family and friends the room was decorated with bunting, vintage tablecloths and china and posies of flowers in jam jars. The soundtrack to the 2004 film De-Lovely completed what I hoped was an evocation of a 1930s tearoom.
Despite being giddy with nerves and excitement I had a fabulous time. I talked about my inspiration for The Companion and how it came to be written, aided by a mini slideshow of early twentieth century pictures of the real-life mill turned entertainment emporium that was part of my inspiration. And for the first time I read an excerpt – introducing Billy Shaw and his first encounter with Jasper Harper. There were some great questions from the audience afterwards including “What would your main character’s Mastermind Specialist Subject be?”. Billy’s would definitely be British Birds, but I wasn’t so sure about Jasper – birds innards maybe!
Kate from The Book Case sold lots and lots of copies and I really enjoyed signing them all.
My only regret is that I didn’t ask my daughter to make twice as many of the Burnt Sugar Buns, which disappeared fairly rapidly. They were delicious and I think Billy would have approved.
(Photos taken by Sakinah Haq, Liz Flanagan and Stuart Ellis)