In a sleepy Northumbrian village, the evening sun glistened on the windows of the nearby houses
Everything seemed calm. Apart from a dog barking, there were no other noises. No-one in sight. Yet, something was different. something was very different. The empty square was in complete contrast to the sea of cars which flooded the main square. Suddenly, an outsider, a lone car passed by the village bookstore. Its driver peered out the window and then quickly drove past and around the corner out of sight. Minutes passed. There was no other movement and the car didn’t come back.
A woman however had made the decision to slip out of the house that night. She had told her flatmate that she was just going to ‘see a friend’ but she knew she was going somewhere else. She nodded to herself as she saw the cars dotted along the street, leading all the way to the square and she quickened her pace. The two people who she recognised from the car made their way ahead of her. Were they going to the same place in such a hurry she thought?
Five minutes later, she’d arrived. The door in front of her opened and a man came to greet her. Hi he said. Come on in. Would you like a glass of wine?
She nodded in agreement and stepped inside. A sea of faces greeted her and she started to mingle, glass in hand with the men and woman chatting happily inside. She hadn’t told her flatmate about tonight as she wanted this moment all to herself. She knew she had an addiction – her flatmate told her often enough but she wouldn’t understand she needed just one more fix. At least she was amongst friends this evening. People that understood what it was like.
She took her seat. There were three stools at the end of the room. The three men on them looked nervous. But once they’d stood up and introduced themselves to the crowded room, their faces visibly relaxed. Everyone understood why they were here. And more importantly why these men were here. They had written books they said. They wanted to talk about their stories to inspire and entertain. They hoped their stories would bring enjoyment to people’s lives.
The first man, Gavin, told his story about an unlikely friendship and an improbable journey. His words were endearing and heartbreaking in equal measure. He nodded at the applause and then the second man, Matt, took the stand. His story involved not only humans but aliens. A few gasps around the room were heard and the sound of more nods of agreement and giggles. Glasses chinked but were smothered with tears of laughter and outbursts of applause.
The night was going well. Obsessions were celebrated here.
Well if this were a book about obsessions, literary obsessions in particular, this is how I imagine it would begin. As some people think I am a bit obsessed about books and reading and meeting authors. But then I guess I am.
Here I was, sitting in the Tea and Tipple cafe in Corbridge, to meet Gavin Extence, writer of The Universe versus Alex Woods and Matt Haig, author of The Humans. I’d read the first book but had heard so much about the second, I just had to come and see them both. And I mean had to. A whizz up the motorway and I was there. Once I’d found a parking space, I felt a bit calmer. I mean I wouldn’t want to miss this would I?
I chatted, I had a glass of wine and I ate a meteorite (If you haven’t read The Universe versus Alex Woods then I won’t mention why this made me laugh). The wonderful people at Corbridge’s independent bookshop FORUM BOOKS had made this all possible. Thank you FORUM BOOKS:
and thank you to two great writers:
For the fantastic literary setting, thanks to the brilliantly named TEA AND TIPPLE:
Thank you also to all the people who came to this event. Fellow book obsessives. I chatted to a lot of you and we had a great evening. May there be many more like it! I started reading The Humans in the car on the way home. I didn’t get to sleep until 3am. I mean seriously, books this funny and enjoyable should come with a health warning that they prevent you from going to bed and as for sleeping. PAH! I’d forget it.
My name is literary imprint and I am a bookaholic. And very proud of it I am too.