Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Noise of Strangers

The Noise of Strangers is not only the title of Robert Dickinson's debut novel, it's also the title you could give the past two days of my life.

The launch party itself was a noisy event populated by people whom I didn't know, but the almost unlimited free-flowing wine transformed strangers into friends. The party was hosted in a beautiful flat next to the British Museum and the place was so packed you could hardly move. As you could tell Robert was very happy and got to sign a few of his books and talk to his fans (yes friends do count). It was very rewarding to discuss the book with other people who've read it and it made me realise the novel is even more clever than I thought ... The so-called "Scoomers" who cruise the streets in their battered Fiats is short for "Moulsecoombers" which is veyr funny if you live in Brighton and know that Moulsecoomb is a bit of a problem area.

The Noise of Strangers is for sale in Waterstones in Brighton and on Thursday night, 6pm, Robert will do a reading and book signing at Jubilee Library in Brighton. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to speak to the other debut Myriad writers Ed Hillyer and Tom Connolly, but they'll also do readings at Jubilee Library this spring. I would've liked a reading yesterday, but there was too much noise and not enough space ...

Now, back to the title. I stayed at a hostel in London last night and it was a bit of an eerie experience ... I didn't see any of the other guests, but I did hear them ... The noise of strangers indeed. Tonight I'm in Gothenburg and I've upgraded. The hotel me and the other writers who are here for the Gothenburg Literature week are staying in is well soundproofed. It was only when I went into the spa and sauna that I could hear (but not see) the presence of strangers ... Maybe I need to go down to the bar and socialise and find out who the other writers are, but I need a clear head. I'm doing three book talks at a school tomorrow, and the free wine from yesterday is still affecting me ...

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