Monthly Archives: September 2016

Showing off our book

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Phil: We came, we drank cocktails and we told our story in front of a crowd.

Yesterday evening at Books Showoff was great fun. In the bunker underneath Tottenham Court Road Waterstones, we were the last act on stage (we’ll be calling that the Headline Act as it makes us seem more important) and wowed the audience.

There was much booing and hissing at pictures of Michael Gove. We went off piste from the planned words to accompany the slides a bit, but it didn’t matter. Someone suddenly found she really owned the microphone when she got hold of it, something to do with the fancy shoes bought for the occasion I suspect.

Great fun. Sadly we had to run for the tube straight afterwards but if you saw us and enjoyed our stuff then please buy a copy of da book. Link on the left or drop me an e-mail and for £7.99, I’ll send you a signed copy.

Thanks to Steve X for putting this on. Keep an eye on the web page if you are within striking distance of London. A fiver well spent for a great fun evening.

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Nearly ready for Books Showoff tonight!

talkcheckingPhil: Last Friday was the final meeting ahead of our appearance tonight at Books Showoff tonight.

Sitting down in an artisan bakery, Candice started to tell me about potty training, so I quickly changed the subject to the slides prepared for the evening entertainment. As anyone who has friends with small children knows, the obsess about the topic and there are some things that can put you right off your hot chocolate.

All words have been expunged from the slides. It was just left to sort out what we are going to say. The audience needs entertaining, not just a selection of pictures to look at.

Doing a two-hander talk is a bit of a challenge. We don’t want to talk over each other, but there must be banter. That’s easy when you are sitting opposite each other and stuffing some delicious sandwiches and cake in your gob. I’ll shut up when I’m eating for a start, but you can’t rely on that on stage.

So, we have a sort of script. Not a strict one as that would be rubbish, but an idea what we’ll be filling our alloted 9 minutes with.

Now, if you excuse me, I need to write a rant to accompany a certain photo. Come along to see if I manage it.

Books Showoff, London 28th Sept at 7pm

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Sign your name

signiture

Phil: My trip to Brum last week involved a good workout. A backpack full of books for the yomp across the city centre certainly added something!

I was keen that Candice took away some of the copies with our lovely new cover – so keen that I put them in a suitable plastic bag from a shop that wouldn’t embarrass her, I doubted that her designer handback would be big enough to tote them. A second bag contained some for me. I wanted these signed.

Over tea, an interesting question was raised – which signature to use?

Using your normal one isn’t a good idea – at least not unless you want people copying it in cheques, contracts and anything else that gets scribbled on. What is required is a “public” signature that is different from the “official” version.

This must be a real nightmare for the Bank of England’s chief cashier, Victoria Cleland. Her monica is on every new note issued by the bank, so if any of us want to fake a copy, we have a handy example in our wallets. Presumably she also has a “public” version, possibly worked over by the banks graphics department to perfect it.

We have to be practical. In our dreams there will be book signings, whatever we do needs to be quick so the lines of adoring fans aren’t kept waiting.

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So, I’ve gone for a simple Phil, with a my little cartoon face. Candice has a cat paw print after hers. Personal but if you see them on a cheque, it’s pretty obvious that something is amiss.

With that solved, I know you are thinking of another question:

“How can I get hold of one of those signed copies?”

Well, the answer is simple – send me an e-mail – and I’ll reply with a PayPal invoice and pop a copy in the post. Price £7.99 including free postage in the UK (Overseas at cost but we’ll sort something out).

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Stalking Spielberg

nolan_signCandice: Phil and I met in Birmingham last week for our customary writing and discussion meeting.  I’d been supposed to be filming that day on BBC drama ‘Father Brown’ but at the last minute had been replaced by a bloke.  I’ll be interested to see that episode as when the agency told me what I would be doing I misread the email and thought I’d be a woman in her nineties, not one in a nightie.  What the chap they cast instead will be doing who knows?

Anyway, that was my second rejection in the last few weeks as I’d applied to be in the next Spielberg film, ‘Ready Player One‘, as they were filming part of it in Brum.  What, Birmingham as a dystopian future American, surely not.  But yes, their location scout had found somewhere that fitted the bill. This sort of thing doesn’t happen very often in the West Midlands so when I saw the ad I jumped at the chance.

Well my lack of involvement was only confirmed at 8.30pm on the night before the fitting so I was a bit put out to say the least.  So when I was given a free day I thought I’d take the opportunity to go and see what the crew was up to.

I did some online surfing and found out where the crew was based – just outside the ‘jewellery quarter’.  There was loads of stuff on line, the one thing the locals haven’t been good at is keeping the set quiet.  I’m not sure they will come back if we can’t keep our phones to ourselves.

So Phil and I were all ready, copies of book in hand (not specifically for this but because I hadn’t had a copy with the new cover).  Phil even suggested I book Monday off to get ready for the calls from Spielberg’s agent. However, when we got there dystopia had moved on!

Yep, taking to the props guys who were clearing up, they had moved on just the night before to a set under spaghetti junction, further out of town.

So out plans were scuppered and books went home in their plastic bag, but it was still cool to see them clearing up – taking the graffiti covered walls back to bare and working out how they could make a plain street look like something completely different.

Next time…..

 

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Books Show Off – 28th September

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Phil: Team NolanParker are on the road again. This time you can catch us at the Tottenham Court branch of Waterstones at the Book Show Off event.

We’ll be amusing everyone with tales of how we came to be great authors and then drinking cocktails. There will be book signings too.

Should be a good night. Get your tickets here.

The event is run by the Science Showoff team, who have a YouTube channel with both science and books.

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