• The fractured tour—halfway there!

    09 May 2011

    Well, it's been a topsy-turvy couple of weeks since my last blog! Then, I was about to head home after my Australian holiday, and I was looking forward to my tour of UK and Ireland, to coincide with the release of Ocean Of Blood. But destiny has a way of interfering with even the best-laid of plans, as I've often stated in my books. A couple of days after my return home, my Granny, Mary Barry died. She was just one day short of her 80th birthday. She had been ill for a long time, and the last year had been very hard on her -- she'd lost her husband, two sisters, and some close friends. She was at peace with herself and ready to make the trip to Paradise, so while it was a sad occasion, we all took comfort from the fact that she went the way she would have liked, slipping away sweetly with a smile on her face. If only we could all pass when our time comes with such dignity and grace...


    As bitterly sweet as Granny's passing was, it was still a tough time for the rest of us. She died on a Friday. I was due to start my tour on the Saturday, but obviously my plans had to be altered at the last minute. We had to postpone all of my Irish events while I focused on the burial and grieving with the rest of the family. Then, after laying her to rest and celebrating her departure, I flew over to the UK on Tuesday to commence the English leg of my tour. I was actually pleased to be able to hit the road so soon after her death. It allowed me to focus on something else. I've been conscious of the gap in my life the whole time since we lost her, but I'd rather be busy on tour than feeling small and lost at home. Of course I'll have to go back to my normal life shortly, and I'm not afraid of that -- reality must always be faced sooner rather than later. But the break has been welcome all the same.


    The UK events and signings have all gone smoothly. I've met some incredibly dedicated fans, along with plenty of new Shansters who are just starting out on their long and murky road into the darkness of my imagination. The school events have all been fun, the public events have all been well attended, and the signing lines in bookstores have been long and snake-like in most places -- the longest so far was in Bromley, where I signed for over 3 hours on Sunday! Reaction to Ocean of Blood has been extremely positive, and speculation from fans has been rife -- was that young deckhand on the ship really a crazy old buzzard we first met en route to the Lake of Souls? who might the baby be? what will happen to Larten next? The answers will all be revealed in October, people, when Palace of the Damned goes on sale -- until then, my lips are sealed!!! (Well, except for maybe at one or two of the events that I will be doing over the course of the summer, when I might read out an extract from book 3... see the Shanville Monthly for dates and more info about those.)


    As for my Irish fans... don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you!! As soon as we cancelled, we started looking ito re-scheduling the events. We've managed to peg most of them down for the middle of May, in Tralee, Limerick, Cork and Newbridge. I'm just waiting for confirmation about Belfast and Dundrum -- they haven't been as easy to pin down. As soon as I find out, I'll amend the info on the Shanville Monthly, where you can also find the new dates and times for the other re-scheduled Irish events.


    For now, I'm enjoying a couple of days off in London, before flying to Dublin on Wednesday 11th May to appear on the RTE TV show, Elev8 -- if you live in Ireland, don't miss it!! I think it starts at 4.30pm. I'll be hitting the road again that weekend, in Tralee, Limerick and Cork, before doing Newbridge (and hopefully Belfast and Dundrum) a little later. After that, I'll be heading back to the UK again, this time for my events in Wales. It's the most fractured tour I've been on in a long while, but I'm determined to try to honour as many of my tour pledges as possible, and to have as much fun as I can while doing so -- it's what Granny would have wanted.

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