Monday, 12 September 2011


On Friday morning, still half-asleep, I found myself waiting at the village station, ready to start my two-day TRO adventure. I'm not overly fond of travelling through the single dimension of space, (spatiotemporal transport is more my style) - and, to make matters worse, my reserved seat just happened to be next to some abandoned luggage, creating a delay while "security" examined and removed it! Otherwise, the journey went smoothly, and Tony (from the Cotswold Bookstore) was waiting to collect me.

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!


  1. Only just made the time to seek out your blog to see what you made of it all. What a vivid and generous description of your time here.

    It was all very exciting for us at Cotswold Bookstore and I'm sure there would have been even longer queues if the road works at the end of town had not been there.

    You did a grand job and were great company. Now take it easy for a bit. (Not too long though, I've read TRO twice and want to know what happens next)

  2. Is the book available everywhere in Britain?!

  3. Is it available everywhere in Britain? Which shop carries it in the South-West?

  4. What ho!
    Both "Justin Thyme" and "Thyme Running Out" are available throughout the UK - however, that doesn't mean you'll find copies in every bookstore ... although that would be wonderful! ;-)
    There are so many books published each year that most bookstores (many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet) only stock a small percentage. They will, however, usually be willing to order any book for you. The title and author's name should be enough - but if you scroll down several posts here (or check the book info at the Justin Thyme website) you should find the ISBN numbers. JT is now available in paperback as well as the original hardback - but, as yet, TRO is in HB only.

    I can't give you details of shops stocking my books ... that's not something I'd ever know, my job is simply writing of them!! However, if you can't find anyone local to order through, then you might try contacting the Cotswold Bookstore where I did the launch event, (there's link to them somewhere down the right side of the page). They're always willing to mail copies out, and (I've heard) are discounting the JT HB at the moment, so it would still be cost effective.
    Failing that, if you shop online you could try Amazon. They stock all of them, both JT HB & PB and TRO HB.
    Thanks for asking! I hope you manage to track a copy down.
    Best wishes,