Sunday, 3 August 2008

The CHION Tour - Day One

I have been neglectful of the CFRB lately. My excuse was globetrotting. No fixed abode, no certain internet connection, all that.

Load of codswallop.

An abode and a wifi connection are not so hard to come by. All it takes is a little work. But by the time I realised this, months passed. So I had no idea that the rest of you already knew about an upcoming tour of an Irish sci-fi author. Can’t believe no one thought to tell me! Must have been divine intervention that I got an email David had apparently meant to send to someone else, and I decided to check out the old place again. And lo and behold, a very imminent tour of a rather local writer, even if he is legally in another country. Same Emerald Isle, after all.

Can you imagine my delight? I mean, can you? For some time now I've been using the tagline "Irish sci-fi" for myself, and here pops up another one - and not only that (yes dears, I do know there are other Irish sci-fi writers out there) but the main character in his book is a Christian. Add to that the simple fact that both his book and mine take place in the North of Ireland, and you're all ready for a very surprised Grace who is after all only Irish on paper.

Okay, so after some cheery prodding from blog tour members (everyone knows who you are!) and some negotiating with Darryl (because neither of us has a car) we agreed to meet in Dundalk, in between Portadown where he lives and Balbriggan where I live.

I took the bus, which doesn't come very often, so I was early. Dundalk is fairly unremarkable, but then I didn't see very much of it since I arrived in a rainstorm. I nosed around in a cafe or two looking for a place to record the historic interview, then waited around outside for a while, since the sun was shining for a change.

(Irish weather is as wet and as unpredictable as everyone says. However, I have proven beyond all doubt that right here in Dublin's North County is the driest part of the country. Every time I leave it, it starts to rain.)

Anyway, after a while, I got sick of peering at the cars with British registration. Dundalk's so near the border there are a lot of Northerners there. The shopping's pretty good too, actually. Whoops, did I leave out part of my day's activity? Irrelevant.

Eventually a man leaped out of the passenger seat of a British car just entering the carpark. He waved furiously at me, so I assumed it must be Darryl. As he came nearer I found myself looking up at him. This guy is seriously tall! After his cousin took the photo you've seen above, we went into the cafe, bought orange juice, and settled in the roped-off part of the restaurant. It was a bit quieter there. I set up my laptop and did a quick sound check, and then hit record.

You realise of course that up till this point we'd scarcely said a word of conversation. We wanted to save it for the MP3. And that's what we did.

Later the cafe ladies offered us a spare sandwich, which we ate with gratitude. There IS such a thing as a free lunch, folks, and it's in Dundalk at closing time.

Such is the record of the afternoon in Dundalk last Wednesday. Tomorrow I'll be posting the first 15-minute segment of our interview for you all to have fun listening to.

Thusly I celebrate my return to CFRB and thank you all for reading. Come back tomorrow or else!!

(PS. Excuse my haphazardness, please. I spent much of today on the pillion seat of Alison's motorbike at high speeds into Dublin central and back again. Woo, very very scary. I comforted myself with the thought that this is great fiction fodder!)

(PPS. Darryl will pick the most creative comment on one of the CHION tour blogs - here, or one of the links below - and that person will get a signed copy sent from Ireland! So get thinking!)

Visit Darryl's website

Comment here or on these member blogs Aug. 3-9 for your chance to win a signed copy! Audio interviews are posted here from August 4th - click on the top banner to listen.


cathikin said...

Welcome back, Grace! I love the photo, and I'm very anxious to hear(?) your conversation. I'm sure it was a good meeting.

ForstRose said...

I'm looking forward to hear the recordings too and of course welcome back to the tour circuit with the rest of us who just can't resist a good book.


ForstRose said...

Ohhh. BTW I can't speak for everywhere over here on the other side of that very big pond we all refer to as the Atlantic but I do know hereabouts in the states wifi is almost as easy to trip over as a Starbucks and yes a Starbucks on every corner is pretty near to accurate-LOL and they often come with a wifi hotspot included.


Caprice Hokstad said...

I really love that picture with both of your covers. Very cool. Looking forward to the sound bytes.

David said...

Great to have you back, Grace. We HAVE missed you. Your post is filled with enthusiasm and makes (me at least) one want to come back tomorrow and listen to the first segment of your interview.

On a personal note, he's tall, is that like a knight in shining armor tall? LOL

All you professionals, take note, our little Grace even used someone else's tour to promote HER book. Now how cool is that?

Grace Bridges said...

lol I haven't even seen a Starbucks since I got here. Must be one or two in town, but Dublin's a big place and it's thirty miles from here...
oh and the promotion of Faith Awakened as part of this was entirely Darryl's idea, for which I am very grateful. It's his tour after all!

Darryl Sloan said...

"On a personal note, he's tall, is that like a knight in shining armor tall? LOL"

Well, it was entirely unintentional, but every time I look at that photo, I can't help thinking we're standing there holding a couple of big shields with the covers of our books on 'em. :-)

"oh and the promotion of Faith Awakened as part of this was entirely Darryl's idea, for which I am very grateful. It's his tour after all!"

Guilty. I thought it would be good to make it a kind of double interview where we're both putting each other on the spot. :-)

JohnG said...

Nice story. I can't help but think
of the line (as sung by Kermit the
Frog) from the song, "the Rainbow
Connection," which says that "There's
not a word yet, for old friends who
just met." I've had that experience
many times over the years, of meeting
someone with whom I had an instant
connection. (And yes, Darryl, those
do look like shields.) No Starbucks?
Well, a lot of ours over here in the
States are closing. Maybe we can send some to you!

Ruthanne Reid said...

Fascinating! It's been a long time since I saw a Christian as a main character in anything with a premise THIS fascinating. I can't wait to read it!

Laura said...

Great interview! It was nice to hear your voices. You did well to make it so clear (even if there were screaming children in the background!). I like the fact that Darryl interviewed you as well. Well done!

JesusPuppy said...

Hiya Sis, a NEW Christian Sci-Fi writer, tell me it isn't so. ;-) And from the emerald isle as well... he must be good. Let me know when it is out so I can give it my personal Approval.. :D

::Added comment on above Picture::

Either Darryl is rather tall or you must be short, can't wait to meet you later this year. :)