The Mighty Phinn

Four years ago (October 2006) we hosted our first ever author event at Mostly Books. Upon setting up the event, our initial joy in celebrating the fact that we had convinced an author to come to the shop was soon tempered by the realisation that no-one had ever heard of the author, and thus the tickets weren't exactly flying out of the door...

A few days before the event, and desperate to round up an audience, I accosted one lady in the shop, gave her one of my best 100 watt bookseller smiles, and endeavoured to lure her to buy a ticket. She declined, but said "You know who you should get for an event? That Gervase Phinn. He'd be fab."

"I'll see what I can do" I said.

And so (because these things can take some time to pull off) four years later we welcomed the legend himself to the Guildhall in Abingdon. And what a night it was...
Gervase's own website declares that "you can always tell a Yorkshireman, but you can't tell him much" and it was clear from the outset that there was only one man calling the shots in terms of how the evening was going to be run.
As befits someone who has a reputation as one of the country's best raconteurs and after-dinner speakers, Gervase had the audience in the palm of his hands, with stories, anedoctes, observations and poems on everything from the use of language and modern life, to his passion for education and family life. It was a virtuoso performance.
Having decided to do an impromptu signing before the event, he then continued to sign and chat afterwards as well.
He seemed very happy with the whole event - particularly the response from the audience. So a big thank you for everyone who came - we hope you had a great evening.
Rumour has it that Gervase's next project is his first fiction novel, and when it gets published I will do my best to lure him back to Abingdon for a repeat performance. And hopefully it won't be another four years...


  1. AAGH! You said "fiction novel"!

  2. The perils of late-night blogging...or was it an inadvertent tautology to see if anyone was paying attention? Apologies.