Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sign here, please.

And can you make the cheque out to Plight of Enterprising yet Righteous Iguana Lovers?

As the post below indicates, I popped over to London for the bank holiday weekend. In between other stuff, I did manage to fit in a quickie visit to the ever-wonderful Murder One.

This unassuming crime-and-mystery specialist bookshop on Charing Cross Rd. has a secret identity. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes dust-jacket that is this store's façade coyly conceals a shiny cover featuring a half-naked DeSalvo in leather chaps staring blankly soulfully into the distance above a maiden's wildly flowing locks and be-bosomed embrace in a field of daisies. Dunno how they cram so much into such a tiny room, but theirs is the most up-to-date romance section in the whole of London Town. And they even stock a large section of Ellora's Cave novels (which sell like veryhothawtmancakes).

Borders might have more books and a café, but stock turnover is really slow and their selection doesn't venture far from the calmer waters of the bestseller lists. Forbidden Planet stocks interesting paranormal/sci-fi stuff, but a few of their check-out staff are hideous sci-fi/fantasy snobs who appear to believe that romance readers are so dumb that blatant sarcasm sails over their heads as if buoyed on secret amnesiac baby wings. (props to SBSarah for that genius bit of phraseology, btw) There is no snob like a genre snob. Go shag an elf, dudes.

Back round the corner in Murder One, and the real reason for this post. They're setting out the bunting to announce the visit of Jaid Black, romantica writer and founder of Ellora's Cave for a book-signing on June 4th. I'm normally a bit ehhh… about the whole "meet the author" thing*, but in this case if it weren't for this small matter of geography, I'd be inclined to pop along. She's a pretty interesting businesswoman from what I've been reading lately and rumour has it that she's going to bring along two male models. And then there's that business of calling another author a pickle which I'm absolutely not going to mention. So there you have it.

*Apart from seeing Jean Little read at the public library when I was 8, (how much did I love From Anna at that age?), I did go to their Jo Beverley one. Mainly to fly the flag for her last book's Canadian setting, bug her about historicity and make her say rude words. But that is the sum total of my willing attendance at this sort of thing. What can I say? I'm a fan of books, not authors.


Karen Scott said...

If it wasn't for Evil work commitments, I'd be tempted to hop down to London to see her. It would be fab to meet her in person!

EvilAuntiePeril said...

Hi Karen, Must admit, I was sorta thinking of you and a few others when I posted this one. ;-) I'd have definitely gone if it weren't for being in the wrong country...

Karen Scott said...

I think she visits England annually anyway, so I may catch her next year. I think the last time she was here, she was trying to get Borders UK to stock EC books. I believe she struck a deal with a few book stores, but I can't for the life of me remember which ones.

As for the whole 'Picklegate' incident, I genuinely think it was a mistake, because as it happens, she hadn't heard of LLG before her rather random comments. Seriously.

EvilAuntiePeril said...

I've never seen any EC books in Borders Charing X or Oxford St., unless they're hiding them in some other section.

And I am with you on "Picklegate", but it's good to have you come over and say it as well. It's not as if it isn't the first time someone's typed an odd name wrong, or replaced it with something that *looked* right. Mine gets pretty mangled by spellchecks.

I did worry that phrasing it the way I did might perpetuate the whole thing, but I figured by not providing any detail, anyone interested could read your blog and the links and decide for themselves. Anyone uninterested probably wouldn't even remember it five minutes later.

And it was the funniest part of the recent dust-ups on AAR... people have been taking themselves a wee bit seriously.

Karen Scott said...

I don't think she was successful with Borders, but she was succesful with at least one store. I remember commenting at the time that there was no way she'd get Waterstones to stock the books, they barely stock any romance, period.

And I find that people on AAR message boards always take themselves to seriously, which is why, I never post on any of them. Mind you, there was somebody not so long ago, posting there as Karen Scott, which was a bit of a worry.

EvilAuntiePeril said...

Maybe that was Murder One? They even have promotional posters and significant shelf space, and I think they started stocking them about a year back. But they're an indy. You're right about Waterstones, but WHSmith used to sell Black Lace books (haven't been to one in ages).

Speaking of which, wonder if she tried Ann Summers? They're on practically every high st. these days. But she might worry about associations, p'raps.

As for AAR, I prefer to lurk. 'Specially as I tend to go off of it for chunks of time.

Karen Scott said...

Ann Summers sell books? I don't think she'd worry about the association. Having been to a few parties myself, I can confirm that they're usually tasteful affairs, where everybody is guilted into buying at least one item.

The last one I went to, I bought phallus shaped toy called Heaven.

It was a lovely lilac colour, and at the time matched my bedroom decor (which has since changed since hubby complained that he was losing his masculinity amidst all the girly colours). I paid £19.99, and the bastards never delivered.

Nobody seems to believe me when I tell them that I only wanted it as a decorative addition to the bedroom. Least of all hubby.

Did I just say all that out loud? I think it's time I left work for the day. Blame it on the heat.

EvilAuntiePeril said...

Is it wrong that you made me snort tea out of my nose with that? It was the lilac. I believe you. Really, I do.

I've seen Black Lace books in some Ann Summers stores, and they're definitely moving more mainstream, in a nice-lingerie-and-hen-night kind of way. So I'd think EC books might find a good home there.

Karen Scott said...

I can confirm that it was Definitely Murder One. Jaid's got a signing there on 4th June. I wish I could go.

EvilAuntiePeril said...

Cool, thank you Karen. Wish I could go too. ;-)