Happy New Year to all my readers!
For the third time, I was delighted to take part in the annual literary dinner at Huntingdon’s Old Bridge Hotel on Friday 12 January. The Old Bridge’s owner, John Hoskins, is renowned in East Anglia for the hotel’s cuisine and its wine shop/cellar – reputed to be the best in England – and for the expert selections of wines he makes as a Master of Wine, to accompany his chef’s creations. If you’re in the area, check it out, and my tip would be: try the fabulous cream teas available in the afternoons. Each year the Old Bridge hosts many excellent wine and culinary dinners, but the literary dinner is now rapidly becoming an established tradition, also. This year, my agent Guy Rose and I gave an ‘authors and agents’ presentation, ‘interviewing’ each other about the process of publishing, and of offering books for development in the world of TV and film, from the perspective of both author and agent. Guy has a host of interesting stories about the famous clients he represents and has represented, and has a tendency to name-drop, for which, he admits, the Queen scolded him gently only last week. In addition to those in search simply of an entertaining dinner, there were two or three budding authors in attendance, to whom Guy was able to offer some words of encouragement and advice. A copy of Walden of Bermondsey or Calling down the Storm was included in the price of the dinner. Ion Mills, of No Exit Press, my publisher, was present with a good selection of other books for sale, and, I’m pleased to report, returned home with very few of them left. It was a delightful evening, and my thanks to John, Guy and Ion for making it possible. Sadly, such events are rare in the Huntingdon area, but the literary dinner is a fine institution, and hopefully the Old Bridge’s example may inspire others to give it a try.