Wednesday 1 July 2009

Another No Alibis Success

Last Friday I attended the No Alibis launch of John Connolly’s The Lovers and Stuart Neville’s The Twelve. As is always the case, David Torrans did all he could to make this a wonderful event for all in attendance. I’ve been to most of his launches this year, and each one runs smoother than the last. For this event, David had fashioned a stage for the two scribes, set up a PA system and had worked out a new seating arrangement that really optimised the space in the shop. Good thing too. More than 100 people showed up! If David’s insurance people are reading this, I might be exaggerating. I’m an Irish writer and hyperbole is my prerogative. For the rest of you, it was the biggest crowd David has ever accommodated at the shop.

Neville was first up, and following a brief and complimentary intro from John Connolly, he read a ten minute extract from The Twelve. An excellent choice, as it displayed Neville’s ability to mix action, dialogue, inner dialogue and snatches of humour. His reading was confident, and although he shared the stage with the book tour veteran that is Connolly, (a wonderful yet daunting experience I would imagine) he really held his own and did a great job of drawing his listeners in.

Connolly charmed the entire room with his easy humour and energetic reading. He read from two works; The Whisperers, his current work-in-progress and a particularly eerie one by the sounds, and The Gates, which promises to be a hilarious a quirky read on the topic of Satanism and quantum physics... for kids. I was surprised nobody shouted encore after his performance. It was brilliant. I’ll probably do a bit of shouting and maybe even throw roses at the stage when he returns around September to launch The Gates.

Then Connolly and Neville enjoyed a little discussion on the state of publishing, the pros and cons of the internet magazine and writing in general. A fascinating conversation that was opened up to the audience. A few brave souls quizzed the writers and each one received a thoughtful answer.

Unfortunately, I had to scoot early so I didn’t get as much time as I’d have liked to chat to the authors and David, but I did get their signature on their respective books, a free bumper sticker and David gave me an interesting collectors’ item that I must frame at some point. So I left No Alibis a happy chap, as per usual. Unfortunately, I failed to spot Brian McGilloway in the crowd, so I missed the chance to get a quick chinwag with him. There’s something weird going on there. I’ve been out of the country for Brian’s last two No Alibis launches and failed to spot him at the last John Connolly reading as well...

Wait a minute, you don’t think he’s trying to avoid me do you?

Anyway, if you missed the Connolly and Neville event, don’t despair. Adrian McKinty is set to launch Fifty Grand from the best bookshop in Ireland on the 8th of July. And I’ve arranged a lift home, so there will be beer!

(Oh, and Josephine; photos of the event will follow as soon as I upload them from my phone.)


Josephine Damian said...

I await the pics....

Michael Stone said...

I'm jealous! I'd love to go along to these talks and signings. That damn Irish Sea is in the way.

But what's the mysterious collectible you might be framing? Don't be coming here with half a report.

Anonymous said...

as always it was a great night at no alibis. John Connolly is always a pleasure to listen to, i'd love to hear an audio version of the gates!
Enjoyed Stuart Neville reading as well. i'm going to start the twelve tonight.
Did you see the special edition on his blog?

Peter Rozovsky said...

Fook, America is a backwater. Belfast rules.
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”