Then it was on to Crosby on Merseyside for the author event of Halloween. It was a tremendous pleasure to attend, as I was in the company of the great of feared of young adult horror literature. In addition to the wee hairy fella, there was Joe Delaney (Spooks Apprentice), Phil Caveney (Sebastian Darke), and my muckers from the realms of the tinterweb who I've been chatting to for ages now - Tommy Donbavand (Scream Street) and Barry Hutchison (Invisible Fiends). Of course, no northwest horror event would be complete without Mr Mayhem himself, Jon Mayhew (Mortlock) and we all got to do our sinister stuff on stage.
I'm on the above photograph, although it's hard to tell. That's me going up in flames on the far right, such were the diabolic depths I plunged to in my talk. WHOOSH!
Ah... you can't beat a nice bit of audience participation. There was plenty to go round on the night, with Tommy ensuring the kids came up on stage dressed as monsters, Jon getting them to scream and holler, and myself making them shout out Scarecrow appendages. I know, that doesn't sound scary, but a well-placed parsnip can cause a good deal of discomfort, you know?
Occasionally, simply roaring and snarling at an audience isn't enough to encourage them to part with their pennies and buy one's novels. I find a handy alternative the threat of physical violence, dealt out with said books, preferably to the cranium.
Of course, what better way to end this blogpost than with a snapshot of Jon and I - that's my Dr Evil, by the way. I'm not squeezing out a tommy squeaker, I promise! Both Jon and I have also found ourselves in competition this week - "dust jackets at dawn" - as we both made the shortlist of the Cheshire Book Award, which I launched with the Education Library Services on Wednesday evening in Winsford. It was an honour to be asked along to talk about creative writing with the ELS and enthuse about libraries in general, and I'm sure whoever the kids vote for shall be a worthy winner.