Back to reality.

That’s it, then: Christmas is over. Hogmanay is over. My annual holiday in India (Goa) is over.

Arossim Beach (Starfish shack) in South Goa.

Arossim Beach (Starfish shack) in South Goa.

Nothing left to look forward to ……. except immersing my imagination in the land of ‘Soul Survivor,’ and getting the damn thing written. That, and maybe ‘The Rambling Man.’ That’s the target for this year – one, if not both, books to be completed by the year end.

I had envisaged getting to grips with the former while lying by the pool or on the beach these past couple of weeks. But, having been to this place the previous five years, I should have known better. The combination of 90+ degree temperatures, lovely, plentiful food and cold beer can result in only one thing. And it’s not creativity.

The holiday, however, did present an opportunity for some creative, guerrilla marketing with regard to ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.’

I thought I’d take a couple of copies with me and after carrying a copy around for a day or so, placing it strategically on my dining table at meal times, I’d leave them in the hotel library for guests to hopefully pick up.

Unbeknown to me though, one guest had already bought a copy to read on the plane over to India. And having read it, they also placed it in the lobby library. This meant there would be three copies potentially circulating the small hotel..

And even better – the owner of that particular copy, whom I’d met on previous visits, introduced me to other guests as ‘the famous author,’ much to my embarrassment.

The result of all this was that even before I could place copies in the library, I’d been asked directly if people could borrow them. They would then make them available for others to read.

Now, receiving royalties for your book is great. Of course it is. But I genuinely got more of a kick actually witnessing the interest in the book which went days before reappearing on the bookshelf.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Even Sandy, the stray beach-dog, found something to laugh about in 'Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.'

Even Sandy, the stray beach-dog, found something to laugh about in ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.’

Book Week Scotland

Talking about Marley - not Bob, as on the T-shirt. The character from DD&RW.

Talking about Marley – not Bob, as on the T-shirt. The character from DD&RW.

With copies of ‘DAMP DOGS& RABBIT WEE,’ in all their libraries, West Dunbartonshire Libraries & Cultural Services invited me to host their closing session of the Book Week Scotland celebration.

To say I was surprised to be asked is an understatement. Especially when I saw that the list of speakers from earlier in the week included Arne Dahl, the Swedish crime writer whose books have been serialised on UK television.

I was even more, and very pleasantly, surprised that an audience of twenty-five interested people braved the horrendous weather to come long to Balloch Library to listen to my patter.

It’s been a while, a long while, since I last spoke to a group of people. I’m more used to talking to dogs, cats and rabbits these days. Lizards too. They’re hard work, though.Book Week Scotland - Balloch Library - 28th Nov 2015 - 3

A few excerpts were read from the book, followed by a pretty extensive Q&A session, followed by a book signing and one-to-one chats.

Hopefully more Personal Appearance opportunities will present themselves, and maybe some other local councils will decide to stock their libraries with the book.

But even if nothing else should happen from here, I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the head of Loch Lomond and my thanks go to all who organised the afternoon and those who turned up  …… and even bought the book!

The last book is sold.

The last book is sold.

Ran out of books! Had to take list for order.

Ran out of books! Had to take list for order.