13th February

I’m going to a book launch tonight!

I first met Stav Sherez a few years back when I got him to do some recording for me. A fellow Deadhead he also belonged to a trading list called Eurotraders to which I turned when I needed someone to do some work for me. It must have been a while ago because I was doing a two day event where we needed to record the presentations and then convert them so they could be streamed from the clients internet site as Real Audio files. Non of the so called technicians I knew wanted to get involved in this new fangled technology so I had initially used one of my Morris Dancing friends (is this starting to sound bad?) He then had the audacity to get himself a full time job so I appealed for help from my Deadhead friends – Stav came forward.

We soon found that we had lots in common and spent much of the time “gassing like old women” about music, books and more. I remember Stav had brought along some paper in case he needed to make notes and it turned out to be old print outs of an early draft of what turned into his first novel The Devil’s Playground. one morning at breakfast in the hotel one of the technicians picked up a piece of paper and started to read it – when he reached the bottom he was disappointed to find when he turned over the story didn’t continue. Almost everyone who read it that day had the same reaction when they got to the end of the page!

I have to confess that Detective Fiction isn’t usually my thing but I’ve found that with both of his books so far (The Devil’s Playground & The Black Monastery) I’ve been unable to put them down once I’ve started reading. He seems to spin a multi-layered web of intrigue which slowly unravels as the book progresses. Oh and he usually get a mention for the good old Grateful Dead in each one too. So I’m looking forward to reading book number 3 which is released on Wednesday by Faber & Faber – it’s called A Dark Redemption.

Driving up to town wasn’t the best idea! I used to do it all the time but it’s been so long since I did it and all of the roads seem to have changed – I was constantly thinking “I’m sure you used to be able to turn right there!” Anyway I eventually found somewhere to park near the Yorkshire Grey. It was still early so I wandered off to try and find something to eat but failed miserably! the only thing I found was a Subway which, to be honest, looked a bit dodgy. So I headed back to the pub.

I’m not totally comfortable in this sort of situation especially when there’s a room full of people who all seem to know each other chatting away when I arrive. So although I spotted Stav talking on the other side of the room I slunk away to the bar and grabbed a pint. I then spotted the comfy sofa at the back of the room so I went and parked myself there for a while, I noticed a pile of books on the table at the front with a sign saying “Special Launch Price £10” which, I thought, is about £3 more than Amazon are advertising it for – a strange world the world of book sales!

I was just getting up to grab another drink when they announced that they were going to start the readings so I sat on a seat nearer the front while someone, the publisher I think, introduced him. He hair got a mention, as did his love of the Grateful Dead! and then after reading some reviews she handed over to Stav, who read Chapter 1. I heard it that afternoon on his website and as I pointed out to him later felt that I was already hooked on the book by listening to it!

He did another reading later and afterwards I went over and bought a copy of the book and got him to sign it –  he’d been promising to sign one of his book for me since the first one! It was good to have a chat and a catch up after so much time and we were joined by a girl called Liz who I chatted to as well. It was a good night and I was glad I’d been invited.

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