First day at the London Book Fair. There were very few overseas delegates, but the Fair felt busy nonetheless.
But the problem was that many appointments were cancelled, so mad authors – always on the prowl at LBF with their handouts and trolleybags – could easily spot an opportunity to come and introduce themselves, even if we tried to look occupied or hide behind our spinner.
An unpublished author gave me a list of people who had endorsed his various fiction and non-fiction titles – all unknown people except Doris Lessing (she can't possibly have endorsed you, mate. Or maybe she has?). He went away saying that if he finds a publisher he'll be a very happy man. Another one said that one of his books had received an Amazon review, and after a pause he added: "A real one". Another one tried to interest me with a brief description of his book. I said no. He said just a brief one. I said I didn't have time and the bookfair wasn't the appropriate place to talk about this. He said just a minute. I said sum it up in one word. He said "deforestation". I said: not for us.
Another author announced he was a shaman – and at that point I looked at the sky.
We went to two parties but stayed only for a short time as we're knackered and tomorrow is such a long and busy day (Orange short-list announcement, 3 seminars in which I am involved, launch of Bestseller, meetings, more parties).