Saturday, 7 November 2009

Sheila Quigley's 'The Road To Hell' book launch in Newcastle...

I had a smooth ride across the Pennines and up A1 until the mystical, and somewhat eerie-looking, sculpture 'The Angel of the North' jumped out of the trees at me as I cruised through Gateshead and into Newcastle for my maiden visit.
After booking into the old half-star 'hotel' I met up with writing buddy Matt Hilton and his adorable wife Denise - on our reconnaisance mission to locate the venue - where I was introduced to an unassuming chap, crime author, Adrian Magson and his lovely wife, Anne. So being wife-less on this excursion, the joke was: Col 'Goose' Bury!
It was great to finally meet Adrian having been in contact with him via email for a while now and I appreciated hearing his invaluable insights into the writing world.
The main event was at the spooky Masonic Temple on Maple Terrace. I met Sheila Quigley outside (faggin' it!) and, having heard a helluva lot about her (all good) I found her to be just up my street: a gritty, salt-of-the-earth Northerner with wicked wit and a contagious laugh. Inside it was packed and a cool band played swing-style in the background, and I was extreeeemely pleased to see that there was a bar!
Among the many well-wishers in attendance were the publisher, Stuart Wheatman (pictured with Sheila n I) of Tonto Books and author, Ken McCoy, both of whom I was pleased to briefly meet.
The book itself, The Road To Hell' had me hooked from the first page (I started it on the hotel bog - sorry, too much info') and one chap must've thought the same as he was sat at the back (not in the hotel bog - at the launch) flicking page after page, totally engrossed.
The night was topped off with a nice Italian (down boy) n good writing chat sliced with smart-arse banter (that'll be me then) with Denise, Anne, Matt n Adrian.
The next day we all met up with Sheila again then hogged Blakes coffee shop in Newcastle centre and had a jolly good chin-wag mixed with a plethora of chuckles. Laugh? I nearly bought a round!
A thoroughly enjoyable sojourn, despite my 'brisk' walk through a dodgy council estate while searching for the elusive Masonic Temple that none of the locals had even heard of - when I asked one chap he looked at me as if I was from the moon. When he replied, I returned the same look! Plus, the return trip: bumper-to-bumper M62, driving rain, glaring headlights n baggy eyes...grr.
Look out for a forthcoming Q&A with the inimitable Sheila right here, and her road to success is a heart-rending story in itself so watch this space. And if you've not read any of Sheila's gritty stuff yet then you're missing a treat.
The Road to Hell by Sheila Quigley - hardback published by Tonto Books.


Matt Hilton said...

Strangely enough, this sounds like the same event that I blogged about ;)

Was good meeting up again, Col.

Col Bury said...

Ditto, Matt.
Just read your take n you reminded me about my shuddering foray into the depths of that council estate!

David Barber said...

Looks like you had a ball! When Matt arranges a book signing in Perth (for his next Joe Hunter novel) you can pop up to ours instead of staggering round council estates!! Although "thes nowt rong wiv norvern counsul estates mate".
Regards, David.

Col Bury said...

Cheers, Dave.
You must join us on one of these sojourns soon, fella. You'd get so much out of it (plus we could get pissed!)

Sandra Patterson said...

Hi Col
I have something for you on my blog here:
Cheers, Sandra

Paul D. Brazill said...

Sounds like a good gig!

Col Bury said...

Hi Sandra - thanks for the blog award!

Paul, It was a great shindig (passed your old stamping ground, too) n was my first time int Northeast - actually enjoyed the drive, seeing new places n Newcastle surprised me with its beauty.