The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

Last year, before any shortlists had been published, and on the basis of how much we and our customers loved her book, we approached Bloomsbury to invite Kate Summerscale to Abingdon for the Arts Festival. The date was picked essentially at random, and when Bloomsbury replied positively, I don't think either of us could have foreseen it would have been the day after the Nibbies - and that Kate would have won the top award. So - we were very lucky, but there was nothing lucky about the award. It was extremely well deserved. We are extremely grateful that Kate honoured her commitment - I'm sure getting on a train to darkest Oxfordshire after what I assume was a reasonably late night (!) can't have been that joyous, but we're so glad she did because it was a very special event for us.
I will blog in more detail when I'm not so shattered (we did a great event with Mousehunter Alex Milway at lunchtime, and it was Timothy's second birthday today to boot, so a 'busy day' as they say) but Kate was eloquent, poised, informative - and for many of those there who are big fans of the book and did so much in the early days to boost its reputation by word of mouth, something to savour and feel slightly smug about.

Thanks very much to Tony Presland for permission to use these pics this evening - there are more on at least two cameras, so hopefully after a good night's sleep I'll be up for blogging in this in more detail tomorrow. Thanks to the Mostly Booklovers for helping stage such a great event, for Ali who delivered Kate safely to and from Didcot Station, to Alison for stepping in with an emergency PA system - and to everyone who came and made it such an event to savour. Night, night!

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