25 March 2011


I've just attended my region's Litlunch, and even managed to sit on one of the speakers' tables hosted by my friend and prolific saga writer Valerie Wood. Either side of her sat a local historian and a celebrity launching a memoir. Sitting on another table was a writer of widely acclaimed historical adventure novels that I'd particularly come to hear.

A good lunch was enjoyed, and the speakers rose to strut their stuff. The celeb, even though I didn't know him, was very entertaining; the local historian absolutely riveting. The novelist hardly mentioned the title of his book, never mind how it came to be written, but launched against the downgrading of history teaching in schools, how Governments on a war footing never learned from history, how... His arguments may have carried weight, but did I buy his book?

On the way home I called into the supermarket. While in the queue at the till, I picked up an on-offer paperback by another writer of acclaimed historical adventure novels set in the same era. I'd read two pages by the time my turn arrived, and the novel went on top.

For us lesser mortals, the moral of this story is...? And bear in mind that both authors write series.


  1. The problem I think is that some people think a degree of success confers upon them the right to soap-box us all. And, because of his "wide acclaim", nobody had the courage to put up their hands and say, 'Very interesting. Now can we hear about the books. This is after all, a literary luncheon.'
    Good job I wasn't there.

  2. It's easy to shoot yourself in the foot without realising. It might not hurt this particular writer's sales, but it would certainly hurt mine if I did the same.

  3. Good grief. You didn't buy his book then. :)