Right, Blogger no.1 here, apparently. Better than being no.2 I suppose . . .
Well, I'd have to start by saying how great the people at Daunt books were. Organized, helpful, enthusiastic, very knowledgable and patient. The latter because sneakily I made the start time an hour later than I was supposed to - I just don't think that any civilized indoor party should begin when there's a chance of daylight. (Speaking of civilized the wine people were just as good, whisping in like pixies, leaving the wine and whisping out and to date there has been no mention of a bill.) This was also to allow Miranda to turn up at five thirty, do a little monologue into the camera (To be posted on the internet soon), sign some books etc. Of course she thought it was six thirty and there was an hour of my sitting around making smalltalk to an increasingly worried Daunt manager as we tucked into the booze having one of those conversations about how sure we were that people would turn up but we did get the date and the address right didn't we . . ?
Of course she did eventally turn up, shortly preceded by a long lost nephew which made for a fun and appropriate beginning given there's a lot of family comings and goings in the novel. After seven people did indeed start filing in and there was mingling and laughter and eminent folk like Christopher Priest, Bidisha and Duncan Fallowell who teased us mercilessly about what he had written in an interview with Peter (Owen to be printed tomorrow). For me it was rather a strange evening, consistently punctuated by phrases like 'I thought you'd be older, and fatter and balder' and 'how can you possibly have done it? You're so young!'. It transpired that the population of the shop was split between the half who thought that all those in publishing, at least those who are male, are old, fat and bald, and the half who simply thought that I was Peter Owen himself. Again, a not inappropriate mistake given the book in question and one that caused much merriment amongst the P.O.P. staff. At the end of the evening Blogger no1 was heard declaring as he wandered off into the West London night: 'I've been commisioning books since long before I was born!'.
Should you like to know what Peter Owen really looks like then you'll have to buy a copy of tomorrow's Telegraph.