Ever since I took part in school and University debates on every topic from the state of the nation to the existence (or not) of ghosts, I’ve fantasised about speaking in one of those dramatic Cambridge Union debates, and saying something so entertaining and so memorable that I made headlines…and history. Well, we can all dream.
OK, I’m not holding forth in a great debate on July 14th, but I am speaking in the Union, and so are lots of other mystery authors. We’re all strutting our stuff at the “Bodies in the Bookshop” day, and we’re hoping that plenty of mystery readers will come along and join us. The more the merrier.
“Bodies” (as we regulars call it) is a yearly get-together of mystery fans, both writers and readers, and in past years it’s been literally in a bookshop: Heffers, who organise the whole thing. They used to say that they were trying to see how many mystery lovers they could cram into one bookshop, and they made such a good job of it that they felt the need for larger premises this time – hence the move to the Union. Here there’ll be more room for us all, and also for the large chunk of their bookshop that Heffers will be bringing along.
Another change this year is that “Bodies” will last a whole day, with a series of authors’ panels starting at 10 a.m. Of course, as always, there’ll be the chance for everyone to mingle informally, make new friends, relax in the café or the bar, buy books, sign books…and chat about books, probably non-stop all day long.
Who’s on the ten o’clock panel? I am, together with my good friend Ruth Downie who also writes about Roman times, and Patrick Easter, nearer the modern end of the historical spectrum with his late 18th century series. I’ll be staying around to enjoy the rest of the day – I think most of us will. The panels look fascinating, and the café and bar will be well used…thirsty work, talking about books!
For the full programme, visit the Blackwells website at http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/jsp/editorial/shops/instore_events.jsp
And you’ll notice that the day finishes with a drinks reception at 6.30. As I said, thirsty work, talking about books.
Tickets for the whole day cost £10 for adults and £7 for concessions, and for that you get a goody bag, a glass or two at the drinks reception, and of course access to all the panels, or as many of them as you like – you can pop in and out of the Union if you have other necessary but less interesting calls on your time. You can buy tickets in Heffers, or by calling 01223 463 200, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The organisers would like advance bookings so they know how big a room they’ll need at the Union, but they admit it’s not essential, so if you haven’t booked before the day, just arrive and get your ticket at the door. They aren’t going to turn you away!
I’m looking forward to all of it. And I hope I’ll see you there.