Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beautiful Brisbane

I was very excited to fly into Brisbane for two days travelling around bookstores and meeting new people. Brisbane Dymocks was the place where I discovered The Radiant Child had made the Dymocks Fantasy Bestseller List. Not surprisingly, that buzz enabled me to sell out their entire stock that time! Plus I was going to visit TLC Books Manly, a small bookstore in a little arcade in a quiet part of town but a fantastic place that has been a great supporter of mine and exactly the sort of bookstore this tour is all about trying to help.
I was also a little sad, as three of the Borders stores I had visited that time were all gone.
It all began a little curiously, as walking out to the plane were a large hairy bloke in a wedding dress and his (normally dressed) mates. I'm assuming this was some football-inspired dare but I do like to keep an open mind and if that's what he felt comfortable in, then more power to him!
I had plenty of time up the sleeve before an 11am start at Dymocks Brisbane, which was lucky. While we didn't have to pause to allow the Captain to conduct a mid-air ceremony, we did end up circling Brisbane airport. I caught the airport train in, which was unsurprisingly slow.
Interestingly enough, I had all sorts of dramas with Jetstar, which freaked out because I had booked three flights with them through Webjet and refused to let me do online check-in, then when I rang them up, the lady in Chennai or Manila or wherever their phone centre is based was completely unhelpful. Finally the check-in terminal at Newcastle also refused to help me. Luckily I was there early enough to get into the human check-in line and the lady there fixed it all in about 30 seconds and moved me to an emergency seat with extra legroom! Jetstar 0, Newcastle Airport 1!
On a positive note, I remembered the rough layout of the city centre from the last time I was there and found my way to the store with very little difficulty, stopping for a coffee along the way.
The CBD store doesn't let me cut loose on passersby but does have a steady flow of people for me to accost as they head up the escalators to the fiction section. I met some great people and really appreciate the ones who took the time to Friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and drop me a line to say how much they were enjoying either Wounded Guardian or Bridge Of Swords. That's always a fantastic feeling!
Then it was off to Pulp Fiction, a specialist fantasy/sci-fi store and then the new Angus & Robertson store in Brisbane city. These were just stock signings, rather than my usual selling. It was particularly evocative to be back inside an A&R store again, after appearing at so many last time. They had been a bit surprised by Bridge Of Swords' popularity and only had four left for me to sign - next time it'll be much better!
Final stop for the day was Dymocks Carindale, where Bridge Of Swords was sitting at Number Nine on the store Bestseller list. That was a fantastic afternoon, meeting many wonderful people and chatting about books and my books in particular. I didn't sell an enormous amount of books that evening but had so many people interested in what I had to say that I am sure it will follow on.
Day Two felt a little like an episode of The Amazing Race. I had taxicab vouchers to get me around and met up with one friendly cabbie, called Manny, who stuck with me through the day.
First up was TLC Books, then Dymocks Chermside. TLC is such a lovely little store, in a delightful centre. Tanya and the team are so nice there that I simply have to keep going back! Both went really well, with Chermside particularly a success in book terms. They only had Bridge Of Swords, which sadly cost us both in terms of books sold but when I had finished, they only had two copies of Bridge Of Swords left.
There was a fantasy stand of books just behind me - and if anyone perused that, they received a smile and a bookmark from me. That led to three sales right there!
So I flew out of Brisbane, ready for a big weekend at Gosford Markets and then Dymocks Chatswood.
And that was to prove quite a fascinating adventure!
That was even before I got off the plane. I was flying Virgin (so obviously didn't expect to see the large bloke in the wedding dress 36 hours after his big day) and their plane experienced what the Captain described as"severe turbulence" on the way back. I would describe it as a case of severe turbulence in the squeaky bum section.
I had my seatbelt so tight, there was little blood getting to my legs and even so I swear my butt lifted of the seat twice as we dropped and bumped. To say I was glad to be back was an understatement. To say there were a few people who needed a spare pair of underpants urgently was also probably accurate!


  1. Gotta say I've never been accosted quite so determinedly before by an author doing a book signing. I hope I didn't scare you too much.
    I just finished Bridge of Swords and it was fantastic cant wait for Valley of Shields.
    Looks like I'm going to have to read the Dragon Sword Histories again. I don't have to worry about being disappointed that it ended this time as I now know what's in your head for the future !
    The reader who doesn't read :)

    1. Thanks Steve!
      Lovely to hear you enjoyed BoS so much and not long to wait until I accost you again, this time waving a copy of Valley Of Shields at you!
      All the best,