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Tracey Farren

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Book signing at Constantai Exclusives

On Saturday I sat at Constantia Exclusives with Peter Church, author of the novel, Dark Video. We had a fine time at the entrance to the store, drinking coffee, signing books and chatting to Exclusives customers. Peter and I are both highly social, so we reveled in the company. For me book signing is a great balancing activity after the solitude of writing. All those lovely people. All their nice smells and their wonderful stories! People seemed both intrigued and shy at the sight of us sitting behind a pile of books at the door. They tended to browse through the shop, circle a little, then come and question us. These encounters turned into wonderful conversations. It was brilliant that people were so honest. They quizzed us to establish whether our books could fit into their lives. A ‘not for me’ screen dropped over their eyes when they heard the words, ‘South African’. They were obviously encouraged when they heard, ‘intense psychological drama’ (Whiplash) or ‘hard hitting thriller,’ (Dark Video). They seemed to need a guarantee of entertainment. People tended to buy the books as gifts. The women’s ears pricked up when they heard that Whiplash was disturbing, yet spiritual and uplifting. They tended to buy the book for other women. Dark Video, on the other hand, seemed to appeal to people with adult children or grandchildren, as the protagonists in the story are UCT students. In reality, Whiplash is often greatly appreciated by men, and Dark Video appeals to people of all ages. The books are sure to work their way through the generations at home.

Happy reading and thanks to everyone who stopped to chat. A special thanks to Marilyn at Exclusives, who organized the morning and to Yaneska, the manager, who thought it was a great idea.


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