Sunday, 26 September 2010

Trash Blog Tour - Final Days

So I'm not quite sure why my blog had a bit of a break down over the last few days but all is well and truly fixed now, so I bring you the last few posts of the Trash blog tour. It's been wonderful to host Andy's interesting, charming and, at times, laugh out loud funny blog and I'm so grateful that I got to be a (small) part of the launch of such a brilliant book.

I'll be back tomorrow with a write up of the Trash dinner on Thursday and the winners of the Trash competition but, until then, enjoy the last few days of Andy's publicity tour.


A foggy start to a glorious day! We looked up and we were in Oxford.... The dreaming spires of St Edwards School and an audience pf students in the North Wall Theatre who queued and queued to have their books signed. We rattled on to meet the Blackwell's team (first prize for astonishing Trash display) signed stock before meeting the super dedicated manager of Waterstone's, Colin. More stock signing - how exciting that so many people are getting behind this book.

We shot to Woodstock via tea in the sunshine in the
Dinosaur Park with Rachel from the Woodstock Bookshop and her daughters and met a dedicated crowd of readers at Malborough Comprehensive School. On to the Midlands to be picked up by Mike - Random House's sales rep for the Midlands - in the Mike Mobil.

Mike's energy revived us and we found ourselves
at 7pm talking to an audience of 150 at the Earls High School in Halesowen. Ros Bartlett was our host, and I felt a surge of passion for reading that lifted my spirits. This is how books come to life - through the passion of such people. It was a long queue of children who stayed up way past their bedtimes for a copy of TRASH and for me, a very moving experience. Back to Birmingham and a bedtime Balti and beer.

(No 'tour' type photos for Tues/Weds but please enjoy this picture of a Basset hound. FLOPPY ears)


Kidderminster nestles between Birmingham and Worcester and we were guests of Stourport High School. We were greeted by images of dumpsites and dumpsite children - this was a school dedicated to research. A hundred and 60 children threw questions at me, keen to know everything about the characters and the genesis of TRASH.

I have realised that news of TRASH is spreading as a
direct result of hard working teachers and librarians like the trip I met at Stourport Julie, Dawn and Joan. It was with a tear in the eye that we left the Midlands.

It was a 'Trash' party last night at a very fine restaurant in Notting Hill - around the table individuals that have either made the book happen, or are currently spreading the word about it. Exquisite Pacific Rim food and great company, and a real sense that David Fickling Books is determined to push 'Trash' all over the world.

I have to confess I took far too much wine, and the whisky at the end was totally meant a thobbing head this morning as we headed to off to Suffolk, zipping through Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds where - yet again - we are greeted by teachers and children ready to hear the stories of Raphael, Gardo and Rat. One hundred and fifty children listened, avidly I think, to the tale of how the book was researched and written, and there were - as usual - torrents of questions.

On then to Norwich for a quick lunch before stock signing in the High Street bookstores, and the return trip to London...the end of the tour now getting horribly close.

Friday - the final day:

Last day of the tour! Last day of having my tickets bought and my hair combed by the Random House publicity team - and what a way to finish. We found ourselves in the pretty town of Bishop's Stortford, which takes its name from the eminent Bishop, Bishop Stortford - where we were greeted by the intimidating form of a READING CLUB - and the children (all 35 of them) had read 'Trash'.

Their leader told me that this was the children's opportunity to tell me exactly what they thought of the book, so I prepared myself for a critical mauling. 'The most boring piece of preposterous overblown loosely-plotted pretentious nonsense' is what they didn't say, thank goodness. Children are so polite, these days. One after another they mentioned things they'd liked, or narrative devices they found intriguing - it was only a teacher who dared offer criticism. 'Isn't Olivia a bit of an after-thought, to move the plot forwards?'

I was speechless.

The chip I was eating stuck in my throat.

After a reviviing glass of water it was on to the school's main hall, and there we met 200 more children, who all listened avidly - honestly, they really did look avid - to tales of the 'Trash' meanstreets, and the street-children of the developing world. Questions came thick and fast, but by 3pm a wintry rain storm had set in, and the teachers naturally decided to end the session in favour of rugby practice. I will not forget Bishop's Stortford School and Rosie, its fabulous librarian - nor its caring staff and bubbling children. A real treat of a 'gig' to end the tour.

More at Christmas we hope.

Thanks for letting me crete this, my first ever 'blog' - best wishes as my plane leaves for Manila... Andy

1 comment:

Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.