I said in last weeks blog post that I’d report back on this past Saturdays book signing at the Manchester Trafford Centre so here goes.
I’d been nervous all week, and by Friday I was feeling a little fragile ( stupid I know by sometimes we can’t help our emotions ) which was worsened by a pretty scathing review on Amazon, which has now been removed. It attacked me personally for “playing on my injuries” – something I’ve never done. Yes I’ve been injured a lot, I’ve been unlucky but it was never done to make my performances seem so much better as was the accusation. Trust me I would love never to have been injured and not to suffer with knee pain now. Anyways I digress.
I arrived at the Trafford Centre in plenty of time, and located the book shop only to discover that they weren’t advertising me being there at all, no posters, no signs….hmmm. Instead they were advertising a signing by another author, with banners and posters. She also had the prime spot at the front of the store. Again with being so nervous my mood wasn’t made any better, thinking she’d have huge queues and I’d be a “Billy no mates”. No point in saying anything.
The time of reckoning had arrived and I went and reported to the store manager and was shown to my table, piled high with books, it looked pretty cool. I was swiftly joined by Viking who had come along to support me, he really calmed my nerves by chatting away about what good form he was in ahead of the upcoming London Marathon.
A few seconds later I had my first customer of the day, an amazing bloke called Alan, who had read my book whilst recovering in hospital having donated one of his kidneys to his sick wife. Now that is truly inspirational in my eyes. He was looking forward to doing his first triathlon after reading my book, and the three of us chatted briefly. He came out with the quote of the day when I introduced him to Viking:
“You looked much shorter in the book”
I collapsed in laughter and said “Yeah I had him digitally shortened”.
And from there it just got better and better. Several pirates turned up to lend support and have their books signed, it was great to catch up with some old friends and meet some new ones. Pretty soon the book shop looked like a triathlon conference as lots of people stood around discussing the sport, marathon and ultra running. People travelled from as far away as Sussex, Rotherham and Liverpool. I even signed a copy for a Danish woman whose daughter is a pro-ironman based out in Singapore.
I also ended up signing several autographs, a birthday card and posed for several photos. It was very strange when the first person ( an ultra runner ) said “Would you mind posing for a photo with me?”, I just looked bemused and said “Really? Ok then.”
By the end of the day I’d signed lots of books, met some wonderful people, arranged a couple of bike rides, and had a thoroughly good time. You’ve gotta love Triathlon.
Note to oneself: DON’T GET NERVOUS NEXT TIME YOU MUPPET !
And for the record, in real life Viking is only 4ft tall.