How did it go? I hear you cry. Very well thank you. On Tuesday evening Tess of Portelet Manor was introduced to the Jersey public and it was fun.

A good crowd rocked up, many of whom were not known to me at all, or only vaguely. If I’d been left to my own devices very few would have come. ‘Build it and they will come’ only happens in the movies. I was indebted to a couple of colleagues who really got the word out there into all sorts of places, groups and venues.

I was immediately into signing and chatting. One lady told me that her father lived at Portelet throughout the war. He’s very old now and she was going to read pieces of my book to him – that’s quite humbling. Others had their own tales to tell. All were eager to read a Jersey historical novel (two actually as I was also selling A Jersey Midsummer Tale) and it was nice to know there is a significant local market for local books.

My special guest, who spoke excellently, was Daff Noel and it gave me the opportunity to introduce her and her works to a younger generation.

The wine went down well, lots of smiles, chats and laughs, then it was over. The book sales more or less covered the cost of the wine and nibbles so that was OK. I have a few more readers now though.

Earlier in the day I did a local radio interview, the presenter being convinced my book was something connected to Tess Of The D’Urbevilles – I was rather pleased that my book was mentioned in the same breath as the great Hardy novel!

Next up I’m doing a short reading in the German bunker at Noirmont as part of a concert celebrating the Liberation next week. This is the passage I’ve chosen.

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