Last night I was invited to attend a fellow Bath Spa MACW 's book launch. I'd really been looking forward to this as I think Lucy is a great writer, and it was a chance to see old friends and tutors again.
The room upstairs at Waterstone's in Bath was stiflingly hot. Groups of people were talking loudly, sipping glasses of wine. I scanned the crowd for a friendly face. Then I remembered my year was always late for everything. To kill time I inspected the shelves of self-help books (there were so many!), cookery books (one in a shape of large chocolate bar, one looking like a carton of juice) and gardening books (yes you guessed it, in shape of a mini plot with seeds included). I was getting bored and tried to start a conversation with a few people, but no-one wanted to talk to an old alumni. Don't really blame them. At last I spotted a member of Bath Spa staff. I think I must have smelled as he too left me after just one word.
Suddenly I came to the realisation that it had indeed been over five years since my MA in Creative Writing and that most people had either moved away from the area or moved on with their lives. Away from writing? Could that be done?
Lucy's talk and reading was lovely. I can see why her publishers, Chicken House, went for 'Stolen'. The book is aimed at late teens and deals with the very sensitive and scary subject of kidnap. At an airport...huh, just the thought of it makes me want to wrap my now eighteen-year-old in cotton wool. And never leave her out of my sight, nor let her go anywhere on her own. (Her gap year is off and I'm going to confiscate her car keys.) 'Stolen' is a good, scary book for late teens - but it's not suitable for their sensitive mothers.
The launch was a great success, the audience asked several relevant and interesting questions, and there was a long queue of people wanting their books signed. I'm going to recommend 'Stolen' to everyone I know, even the mothers of teens. I just wish I'd not got my hopes up about a MA reunion. That I might have to arrange myself.