I arrived at the shop about 3.30 pm. After chatting with Nina and David, who'd been finalising the preparations, I went up to the stockroom and began working my way through the pre-ordered copies needing to be mailed out a.s.a.p. I signed almost continuously until 8.30 in the evening, then stopped for a well-earned cup of tea!
On Saturday morning, the TRO Booklaunch was due to start a 11 am - but when I arrived at 10.30 there was already a queue running the length of the shop, so I decided to get busy right away as it was rather drizzly and I didn't want anyone having to wait outside again like last year.
Signing your name a gazillion times isn't the most fun a person can have - but what makes a signing event special is meeting fans of the books. First in line was Arthur, who, like many of the people I met, I remembered from last year; determined to get the very first copy, he and his sister, Nia, had been waiting since nine o'clock! I also met Josh, (winner of the recent JT competition), so I was able to hand over his prize doodled copies in person. Another young man brought in a sheaf of notes detailing the various hidden clues he'd found ... something that always brightens my day! I wish I could've talked to him for longer.
Another thing that pleased me enormously was the amount of people who'd been loyal fans of JT since the original 2006 "Interrobang" version, some of whom had travelled long distances to get their long-awaited copies a few weeks early. I enjoyed chatting to them all, and regret being unable to spend more time with them ... but the queue didn't seem to be getting any shorter.
I said goodbye to the last customer about two o'clock, after signing for over three hours non-stop. I then dashed upstairs to sign some spare copies in case any late orders came through. By the time I finished, all of Mrs Kof's Banana & Chocolate-chip Cake had vanished, (I blame Eliza), and we all decided that the wonderful Clock-Cake was simply too nice to cut into! Once again, there wasn't enough time to chat to Nina and find out what clues she'd found ... or discuss her theories as to what will happen to the Thyme family next. (After a few years of studying JT's "hidden clues" in microscopic detail, she's now scarily good at deductions (or fluke guesses, as Tony calls them!) Maybe she's starting to see how my brain works ... or perhaps a future version of me has travelled into her past and loaned her book three!
At three o'clock, my time in the Cotswolds was over. I caught the return train "just in time" (with barely 10 seconds to spare) ... and a few hours later I was safely back in good old Drumnadrochit!
I dozed for most of Sunday ... but it was nice to think of all those people busily reading their copies of "Thyme Running Out". I hope they're all enjoying themselves!
My thanks to everyone who came to the event - and extra-special thanks to the entire team at the Cotswold Bookstore; it was a day I'll never forget!