I was in a nightclub last night and I didn't feel out of place. It had flouncy flirtings and bouncers and a compere and a DJ and a stage, all under darkness so well-lit that you could see everybody but we were all in shadows too. I haven't been to a nightclub in eech years. Strangely the very same place as last night which used to be my local & was known as Subterrania. Lots of memories, I've left that bar with strange men in hats with girlfriends screaming at me and once had a (very welcome stomach-flipping) surprise encounter with an ex-lover in the entranceway. Anyhow, fast-forward 20 years. It was couldn't-get-a-seat full, but not packed uncomfortable. A bit like the opening bit of Seinfeld set. Around the stage were some very inviting-looking mega sofas. Some of these sofa'd earlybirds were getting little bags of Chinese food delivered! I loved that. Anyhow I was very happy with my spot standing at the side with my writer friend and hers. Ewan Morrison was first up, reading a rude bit from Swung. Reading extracts is always tricky, I felt for him up there with the audience in front of him and all. My friend said that her Arvon teacher told her she always read the first chapter, which is where we all come in cold to the characters. It was all so interesting, like writing is cool. When we all know it isn't, it's sitting at home in baggy clothes day after day & not seeing much of the light. Then there was music from Paloma Faith and the Unfaithfuls, a very exotically turned-out Amy Winehouse/Billie Holliday
like singer, who was very good and then the star of the evening, the fantastic poet Lemn Sissay. I'd never heard of any of these people, being that as far as I usually get out is my local writers' pub nights. I've been cruising around their websites this morning, dropped an e-mail into Lemn to say just thanks and love his work. He sent me this sweet reply
Cheers for your message Amanda. Last night was enjoyable for me too. The set up at The Book Slam is absolutely perfect. It’s always a good sign if the previous evening stays with me the following day. Cheers. Lemn
Will definitely be getting some books & taking daughter to hear him at the South Bank. And absolutely certainly will be returning to the Book Slam.
And an e-mail just in from agent - my colleague and I both love your writing and we're enjoying the novel very much - if you'd care to email us the rest of the script we'll read it and come back to you as quickly as we can (more quickly than we have done so far!).
Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.