Thanks for the chocolate.
I’ve just finished doing something I’ve never done before. A tour to promote a book. I’ve done tours before, and published books before, but when those books were published I tended to be out going gigs anyway so there was no reason to do a special promotional tour. So this was the first time I ever did a speaking tour just to talk about a novel. The novel of course is Terror Kid, and because of the issues raised in the book, every event was very different. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I do think that ‘sometimes’, and I must stress ‘sometimes’, listening to authors talking about their books can be quite arduous, even if the book is great and the author is the nicest person in the world. I don’t think I’m that good at it either, I think all my ideas are in my books (or poems), so I was quite surprised to see so many people come out to listen to me.
It is difficult to express how moved I have been but the encounters I had with my young readers, and how interesting some of their questions were. When writers do these things there are questions that pop up time and time again, they tend to be used to get things going, questions like ‘When did you start writing?’ and ‘where do you write?’ etc, but after that most of the questions that came my way, and therefore the conversations, were about politics. Not party politics, but what I’ve always called street politics, questions about free speech, freedom of expression, terrorism, gangs, policing, racism, and feminism. The passion of these young people reinforced what I have always believed, that young people do care about politics, they are just put off by politicians. After these conversations I was left feeling inspired, and hopeful.
So this is another non blog from me, I simply want to thank everyone who came out to see me, especially those who traveled long distances, and those who brought me vegan chocolate and cakes. Thanks for the chocolate mice, the chocolate rabbits, the coffee cake, the raw chocolate and coconut balls. Then there are those that brought me mangoes, durian, ackee, and yams. I was really touched by all the gifts I received, and I ate them all. Except sandwiches I was given in Cheltenham. They were gross.
So Terror Kid is out there, I am now going to spend the next few months concentrating on my students at Brunel and finishing off my music CD. Yes, it’s taking ages, but I just have so much to do.
RIP John Holt.