Friday, 8th July 2016
Sutton-in-Ashfield Library sits just inside the Idlewells Shopping Precinct at the end of Lammas Road in Sutton. In a light and airy environment, it occupies three floors of the building and offers a range of facilities for the reader including internet access and a referecne section on the top floor.
From 1.30pm until 2.30pm I was invited to address the Crime Cafe reading group members on the topics of my writing and also my experience of the publishing industry.
The complete collection to date on display at the event.
With Tracey Hughes, the Sutton Library Manager, in the crime section.
Tracey Hughes and Marg Thorne (Library Services Advisor) at the first floor reception desk.
Victoria Collins - Assistant Library Manager.
Saturday, 25th July 2015
Beeston Library is a large library located on Foster Avenue. The library was established in the 1930s and moved from its original site on Station Road to Foster Avenue in April 1938 where it was one of the first purpose built libraries in Nottinghamshire. It is a very busy library serving a diverse community in Beeston.
There at the invitation of Lesley Sneath, the Library Manager, Lynn and I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours in the company of a warm and freindly audience.
With Lesley Sneath (left) and Jean Willgoose (right) in the Criminals section of the light and airy ground floor.
Thursday, 15th January 2015
Bawtry Community Library is part of the Doncaster Libraries group, and is situated just outside of the town on the Doncaster Road. Staffed entirely by volunteers, it has that ‘homely’ feel of sitting down in your own front room and chatting to a gathering of friends.
Lynn and I were there on January 15th at the invitation of Liz Atkinson, to give a presentation of my books to an audience of two dozen from 6pm to 8pm.
I love these sessions, and the questions posed from those attending gave me more than enough of a chance to explain the storylines on my six published novels, and also to gain valuable insight into what potential readers are looking for.
As well as the usual refreshments, Liz Atkinson very kndly organised a laptop and overhead projector for the evening. The event was situated in the cildrens' area of a very light and spacious room - plenty of space for me to display my novels.
Saturday, 6th December, 2014
Another invitation organised by the lovely Ann Penn, Lynn & I were at the newly refurbished Stapleford Library at 10.30 for a talk to interested library members. The facility has undergone some radical renovations and reopened at the end of November. A light and airy building, it has a welcoming feeling the moment you step in the door.
In an hour long talk which seemed to pass all too quickly, we covered each of my six books in addition to the 'Christmas Murder Anthology' released by Pneuma Springs in October.
This is the wonderful display produced by the library manager, Jill. I'm in some very illustrious company, and the only downside was to find that all but one of my books laid out for the event had already been taken out by readers.
Photo courtesy of my wife, Lynn, showing all but one of my books - A Ticket to Tewkesbury found an interested buyer before the end of the event.
Left to right - Jill (Stapleford Library Manager), Ann Penn (Team Librarian), and yours truly in the crime section at the end of the event.
We'll meet up again at Beeston Library in the summer, as Ann is organising the launch of a Crime Cafe at the site.
Tuesday, 26th August, 2014
Organised by Ann Penn, team librarian based at Nottingham's Beeston Library, this event showcased the work of four local authors, inluding myself, in an afternoon of considerable variety.
Left to right: Don Read, Neal James, Cristian Contras, and Rob Hann
Kirkby-in-Ashfield was once an important centre of coal mining and railways in west Nottinghamshire, with three active coal mines and a several railway junctions. The former Mansfield and Pinxton Railway from the Erewash Valley Line was joined here by the later Midland Railway line from Nottingham. The Great Central Railway main line passed to the south west side of the town and had a double junction with the Great Northern Railway Leen Valley Extension line to Langwith Junction and the Mansfield Railway to Clipstone.
Many thanks to Nottinghamshire Library Services in general, and Victoria Collins at Kirkby library in particular, for a highly successful event this morning at 11am.
Facilities provided were internet access and also a separate computer for the purposes of a Powerpoint presentation. The library itself is light, airy, and modern, having recently been refurbished.
Lynn and I thoroughly enjoyed our time, and we sold a good number of books to those members of the reading group present.
Details of the Nottinghamshire library at Kirkby-in-Ashfield are listed on the link below:
Author Visit – 31st August 2013
This was an event which came to me a month or so back and quite unexpectedly through the website from Nottinghamshire Libraries’ reader development scheme.
The library, a listed building with a completely revamped interior, stands at the corner of Hucknall's market place.
Jane Neal (no connection), the librarian, asked if I would be prepared to talk to the local reading group, and this is the sort of opportunity that any author should be keen to grasp with both hands.
The initial programme was to last for an hour beginning at eleven, but overshot by about thirty minutes as members of the audience of a dozen or so took full advantage of the freely scripted talk.
Many thanks go to Jane, the library service, and all those who turned up and made for a very enjoyable event. It was also good to spend a half hour with an old acquaintance from way back, John Gurnhill, and to sign the copies which he brought along.
Further opportunities are now at the discussion stage for similar occasions around the county. Watch this space for more information.
'Stories From Unknown Authors' - 25th March 2013
Renee and I had a very nice 'fireside chat' from 5pm UK time, and the audio file can be heard using the following link to her Blog Talk Radio show:
Here's a little of what she says about herself and her own writing:
The Crypto-Capers Review
This is a children's book review blog, and a chance for readers to keep up with their favorite books in the Crypto-Capers and Joe-Joe Nut Series. This is also a platform for the Stories From Unknown Author's Radio Show. Access the blog by the following link:
Authors, Publishers, Publicists, I would be delighted to review your book on my site and interview your children's author on my radio show. I am an award-winning adult and children's book author of interactive mysteries.
My books are all educational, interactive and fun. I review for the New York Journal of Books and post reviews on several sites. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or fill out this form to schedule an interview.
I am interested in only children's books at this time. I look forward to reading your book!
Many thanks, Renee, for a very enjoyable hour and all the time and trouble which you took to get the programme on the air.
Listen While You Lunch -18th March 2013: 12 noon - 1pm
Many thanks to Marie Timbrell for setting up the session, and to Paul Rogers and the rest of the library staff for the warm welcome.
Facilities included a laptop linked to a wide screen television, making the Powerpoint and website presentations slick and eye-catching.
Three-part display boards provided an ideal medium for the posters supplied by Pneuma Springs, and the illustrations to the new book, ‘Full Marks', drawn brilliantly by Derbyshire artist, Rachel Beardmore.
6.30pm UK time, Friday 14th December 2012
Forty-five minutes spent in the warm and welcoming company of Keesha, on the Sisterhood's Blog Talk Radio programme.
In a smoothly run interview, we explored a wide variety of topics, and the full transmission can be heard by following the link just below:
Contact me through the website if you have a book club or reading group and would like to take part in a similar event. I have Skype available for group meetings, or GooglePlus for a site 'Hang Out'.
78 - 80 St. Peters Street, Derby
Back for a second stint at the Derby branch of Waterstones, and an early start this time, at 9am. This was a solo flight - Rob absent due to a bout ot the dreaded Lurgy. So, with camerman duties on my shoulders, there are no pictures of yours truly this time - you lucky people!
As with the previous visit, the layout of the presentation table was immaculate, and this ground-level shot really sets it off, I think. The view from the outside was equally impressive.
Give-away books marks went down extremely well, as ever. These are the products of my wife's skill in MS Word. Lynn set out the original templates, and all I have to do is plug in new information for each new book.
Here's a more elevated shot of the display table, complete with a better view of the promotional posters supplied by Pneuma Springs Publishers. They, along with the book marks, were dotted around the store. Eye-catching, aren't they?
Here's Sean Heavens (the branch manager), together with two of his lovely staff - Ros (left) and Karen (right). They kept me supplied with tea throughout the day, and extra stock of the Short Stories from the shelves when we sold out (once more).
Overall it was a very satisfactory event. At the final reckoning, two of the titles finished 4th (A Ticket to Tewkesbury) and 5th (Threads of Deceit) in the day's branch sales. I was outsold only by the new David Walliams book, Giftcards, and Book Tokens.
Discussions are now at an early stage for an event at a nearby branch, so watch this space.
87-97 Albion Street, Leeds
Standing at the top end of Albion Street, and a steady hike from the central part of the city, Waterstones' Leeds branch occupies a three-storey position on a very busy thoroughfare. Rob and I spent a very busy day there, arriving at around 9am and leaving for home shortly before closing at 6pm.
Yours truly, shortly before the off, and preparing notes for the event. Once more, Rob's skills with the camera were much in evidence during the day, but a surprise was in store for him when a familiar face put in an appearance during the afternoon.
True to her word, Michelle Pattinson arrived at the store shortly after lunchtime with a bulk order of literary requirements, some of which she managed to hold for the camera. Here she is with hubby Ian, daughter Emma, and yours truly. Now for Rob's surprise........
Yes, here is the editor-in-chief, complete with cheesy grin. Michelle is about as fast with the camera as Wyatt Earp, and she needed to be on the day. Rob doesn't hang around too much when snaps are being taken. As you can see, I thought it was hilarious.
So, that was it - a great day meeting lots of people and handing around all of the bookmarks which we took along with us. Many thanks to Kieran O'Connor and all of the staff at the branch for making us welcome and very comfortable. Hospitality extended to a generous supply of tea. We sold out of the Short Stories (again), halved the stock of Two Little Dicky Birds, and made serious inroads into the other two titles.
78 - 80 St. Peters Street, Derby
Standing at the corner of St Peters Street and Babington Lane in the centre of Derby, the Waterstones branch occupies an impressive and imposing three-storey site, and was 'home' to Rob Eldridge, my editor, and I for seven hours at the weekend.
Sean Heavens, the store manager, provided a constant supply of assistance and advice throughout the day, and is seen here with copies of the only two titles which remained and the end of the event. Maybe we should have taken the picture at the start of play! 'Two Little Dicky Birds' and 'Short Stories Volume One' sold out during our stay, and the event was a wonderful success. Diary dates should be forthcoming from Sean for a return later this year.
A small shot like this cannot give the true impression of the efforts put into the various displays by Jinny, one of the Waterstones staff. The view from outside the store windows was truly impressive, and many passers-by stopped in their travels through town.
Yours truly outside the entrance to the store just prior to setting up for the day. Rob's efforts as stand-in camerman were, once more, invaluable throughout the event.
Lynn and I are frequent visitors to Derby, and pass the store many times on our various shopping expeditions. I've stood outside this window on countless occasions and wondered what it would feel like to see my books there - now I know. It's a buzz which you never forget, and sets the hairs at the back of the neck on end. There I am, at the top of the pile for everyone to see - amazing!
You inevtiably bump into friends and colleagues at events like this, and today was no exception. Here, I'm talking with fellow CIMA member Adrian Randle and his wife Cathy prior to signing their copies of two of the titles available on the day.
As a parting comment, I must thank, once more, Waterstones in general, and the store staff in particular, for making the day such a success. Jilly I have already thanked for the displays, but she also kept Rob and I supplied with tea all day. Last but by no means least, Alison - I am very grateful for all of the preparatory work which she undertook to get the event in the diary, and for the assistance which she gave me in the weeks running up to the day itself.
Bridlesmith Gate branch, Nottingham
Many thanks to Shane Maxwell-Atkin, Waterstones regional events co-ordinator, for setting up the book signing session, and to the branch staff who made both Rob Eldridge and myself very welcome during the day.
Yours truly, ready and waiting behind the superb display which the branch provided for the signing. The collage to the right was ideal for concealing a continuous supply of tea provided by the staff.
Promotional poster supplied by Pneuma Springs Ltd, my publisher, in prominent position in the front window of the Bridlesmith Gate store. Grateful thanks to Vivian for the artwork.
Up and running with the first copies of the session, and much appreciation to my editor, Rob Eldridge, for doubling up as cameraman for the day.
Sally Hindson with 'Two Little Dicky Birds' and 'Threads of Deceit' to complete her set of the Neal James collection.
A final note of thanks to all of the staff at the branch for looking after us during the day, and providing support for the event.
Saturday, 25th February, 2012
The Book Boutique - Church Street, Ripley, Derbyshire
Caroline Evans' wonderful book shop just off the market place hosted the Neal James book signing from 11.30am to 2.30pm
During a busy and well-planned session, customers were served with tea and cakes, as I was questioned about the four books in stock, planned future writing, and the perils and pitfalls of the publishing trade.
For those turning up too late, pre-signed copies are available at the shop, and a return to the store will be put in place for anyone unlucky enough not to obtain their copies.
Caroline Evans, with her mum and dad, who provide support for the new shop in Ripley.
Local newspapers providing coverage, and publicity, for the event were the Derby Telegraph, and the Ripley & Heanor News.