The great thing about BookShopWorld is that publishers are quite keen to promote their wares, and invite you to all manner of events. These range from the humble stand-up pint with a first-time author (Cheesey Wotsits and Twiglets provided) - which is always a huge laugh because they're just as much in it for the free beer as you are - to the swanky invitation-only do for the established literary lion, which means you don't steal the cutlery or drink too much and pass out in your soup. These latter ones are rare though - the last time I went to one was about 5 years ago. They were promoting not one but three authors, so they rotated them throughout the dinner. Cool for us, indigestion ahoy for the authors... I sat opposite Howard Jacobson (who was totally charming - we discussed Esther Williams and salt beef), Rose Tremain (we were both quite drunk so I don't remember what we talked about but she was really nice), and a very young author/academic whose name I won't mention because he was a total arrogant arse and I'm too poor to get sued; I was delighted when we had to return his novel because it hadn't sold. And had frankly appalling reviews. Here I will just bung in a load of foreign words like hubris, schadenfreude, and poseur.
AAAAAAAAAAnyway - got my five-yearly glam invite the other week and am very excited - JOHN LE CARRE, whom I love, at THE IVY, a place I am unlikely ever to visit or eat at in normal circumstances unless I start dating AA Gill, a thought that fills me with fear and loathing. I'm so excited I will probably do what I did when I met PJ O'Rourke, which is blush, clam up, and find myself unable to speak. Although I am practising pithy phrases like "The swallows fly north over Moscow" and "Pass the salt or I will report you to Head of Ops".