Watch out, Birmingham! (and London)

In a development that has come as something of a surprise to me, I have been asked to appear at Forbidden Planet in Birmingham (see my brand new ‘Events’ page, which I honestly wasn’t expecting to need yet). It’s on June 6th, two days after Dark Run is released, and will be signing whatever copies they can round up that haven’t yet escaped into the wild. I will also be ‘in conversation’ with my editor, Michael Rowley of Del Rey UK.

I’m assuming he’s going to have actual questions to ask me, rather than us sitting around and chatting about Blood Bowl and Jim Butcher. That might get a little boring for anyone else in attendance.

This is, I have to say, something strange to my way of thinking. I’m a debut author who hasn’t exactly made massive waves in the world of social media as yet (I have a grand total of 103 Twitter followers at present, several of which are profiles that appear to have followed me simply because I used a word in a Tweet which is related to their specific interest – Psychology Tweets, Geographic Tweets and something about golf are ones that spring to mind, and no I can’t remember why I mentioned golf). If I was already famous for some reason and had a book coming out, I could totally understand why I might be asked to appear. As it is, I can only assume that it’s some combination of they like the cover, they like my hair, or someone in Del Rey’s publicity department has been yelling a variation of “STEPHEN BAXTER LIKES IT!” over and over again at them.

Or they have some sort of precognition about future best-selling authors. I’m going to hope for that one.

In all fairness, though, I did make it very clear to the fine folks at Del Rey UK that I’m totally up for public appearances. I am no stranger to making a fool of myself in public, after all: I’ve been fronting bands for the last… seventeen years (HOLY SHIT, SEVENTEEN YEARS!? That’s actually over half my life now), but I also do public speaking for the organisation I work for. Today, I chaired/facilitated/stood up and shouted at an organisation-wide forum on Equality & Diversity in my role as Equality Champions Co-ordinator (that’s not my actual job, it’s a voluntary add-on). I tend to work on the same theory for crowds of people as with sharks, or possibly spiders: they’re more scared of me than I am of them. Or something.

So anyway, on June 6th I’ll be in Birmingham, appearing at the Forbidden Planet megastore between 1-2pm. I’ll be very happy if anyone wants to come along.

This weekend, however, I’ll be in London for my wedding anniversary. Plans include visiting London Zoo, meeting up with friends, tasty meals out, and going to see Canadian hardcore band Comeback Kid at the Garage in Islington on Friday night.

It might be a bit like this.

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