Actually, there were twelve of them, all members of the UK Crime Book Club, from Perth to Hampshire, Denbighshire to London and many points in between. Twelve signed copies of Plague have been parcelled up and despatched.
I announced the Giveaway over a week ago and promoted it during my live streamed Author Chat with Caroline Maston, one of the co-founders of the Book Club last Sunday. Our discussion ranged from whether or not ‘Plague’ could be turned into a graphic novel – answer ‘Yes, but I’m not sure I’d want it to be’ – to what I considered to be the most important element when starting to plan out a novel – my answer was the theme or idea behind it.
Two major surprises during the interview. The first was a failure of technology, which left me on screen on my own, sans interviewer. Caroline had just asked me a question, about the underground aspects of the novel, when her image disappeared. I was able, fortunately, to carry on, there’s a lot to cover – the Tyburn, the War Rooms, mediaeval London, the Underground – and Sam, another administrator, slotted another question up on screen when I was obviously coming to a close. I’d only just begun to answer that when Caroline reappeared (phew).
The second surprise was a question from Mike Craven, better known as M.W. Craven, former CWA Dagger winner, who is currently sitting atop the Best Seller lists with his latest crime thriller ‘The Curator’. A darling of the UK Crime Book Club, ‘The Curator’ has just been voted the Club’s Book of 2020. Good fortune again that it was an easy question for me to answer ( so not about writing best sellers then ) and something of an honour for this crime writing debutante. The whole hour whizzed by, with people sending in questions via Facebook – and telling me that they’d bought the book, which was very good news.
The Author Chat prompted a few more entries in the Giveaway, but, on Tuesday morning I put the names – approximately two hundred of them – into a hat, closed my eyes and chose. The nicest bit of the whole exercise followed, telling the winners that they had won. I know, it’s only a book, but who doesn’t like to get a pleasant surprise?
There was one small problem, one individual, a gentleman from Wales, didn’t respond to my messages of congratulation, indeed, didn’t respond at all. I left it a couple of days and then contacted the Facebook site administrator and said that I would try once more but might need their help. Fortunately, my message yielded a result, though not the expected one. A few minutes after I put up my plea I received a reply from a woman – ‘Dad! You won!’.
Needless to add, she prompted her father and the book is, even now, on its way.
Caroline asked me, during the interview, what was my most memorable moment as an author. She had told me in advance that she would ask this question and I had given it some thought. My answer surprised her, I think, because I said that my most memorable moments are happening now. Like getting the surprised and pleased message from the daughter of the man from Caerphilly, or the question from an eminent crime writer, or a review in the Literary Review, or supportive responses from a book club that’s reading my book.
Right now, the lucky winner is me.