Tuesday – 'suits you sir' and dirty T-shirts

Foul dreams all night. Real stinkers. The kind where you wake up with an overwhelming sense of dread, doom and pain. Which caps the night off perfectly. Someone’s mopped the blood off the floor of the lift (not the walls, just the floor) and this seems to have had the effect of rendering the lift immobile. Maybe it needs another blood sacrifice to get it going again? I knew I should have packed my sacrificial chicken and handy stabbing knife. Only they wouldn’t have let me on the plane with it – hand baggage only. You have to check your chickens into the hold.

Today is the CWA Daggers – which is a bit of a coincidence as I’m down in London anyway. Unfortunately there’s bugger all chance of me winning a dagger (what with not being on any of the shortlists), but it’s meant to be a good excuse for a whole heap of crime writers to get together and drink heavily. Hurrah! What a rare occasion that will be. As it’s a lunchtime event there’s bugger all point in doing anything in the morning. Doesn’t help that I’m feeling like strained poop either. This morning I need to lay low and doing some more work on that naughty plot plan for Book Three.

Today I’ll be attending les Daggerinos with Agent Phil (will dance for whisky), so I can pretty much guarantee that no matter what time the thing kicks off, we’re going to be late. Phil operates on Agent time, which is like real time only completely different. But lo and indeed behold: Here’s Phil, half an hour early, dressed up to the threes. I nearly pass out with shock.


There’s only one other person there by the time we arrive (fifteen minutes early), but one by one the writers, publishers and agents trickle in. All of them wearing sensible, grown up suits and dresses. Unlike Phil and me. I was going to wear my little chenille number, but there was too much chance of stinky Rickards turning up in the self same thing. So I’ve gone for the … wait for it, wait for it … David Hasselhoff Impersonators Outfit. Again. I look positively scruffy next to all these besuited gents, but Agent Phil is even scruffier, so by standing next to him I look smart by comparison. Mind you, he has an excuse – all his suits got kippered at the Frankfurt Book Fair, I just couldn’t be arsed buying one. When Rickards appears I look even smarter yet. At least I’m not wearing a T-shirt bearing a questionable image of a rude lady on it. Next time you see him, ask him to show it to you (the T-shirt, not ‘Little Rickards’), it’s slightly more polite than the one with ‘FUCK’ on it, but a hell of a lot more pornographic.

Beer - expensive.

Lunch – surprisingly good. Includes little Mediterranean quiches, confi of duck, some sort of crème brulee, scandalous anecdotes from Wayne (HC editor), and a rather depressing story about Geoffrey from ‘Rainbow’ courtesy of Clive (head of HC sales). Apparently, even though Zippy is still getting work on TV, Geoffrey drives a cab. Just goes to show you.

Speeches – not as bad as people have been predicting. Short, to the point, not a lot of rabbiting on, or effusive thanks. Bish, bash bosh and it’s all over. Surprisingly neither Val nor Reg walk off with the Dagger of Daggers. Make secret plan to corner those responsible and batter them to death with empty wine bottles.

DRINKS – First in the hall for a bit of mingling, and then off to the nearest pub, for sitting down, drinking and talking bollocks. Much, much bollocks. You can tell that Agent Phil isn’t used to these elaborate boozy lunchtime affairs (ahem). After a lager shandy or three, he stands, announces that it’s late and he has to be getting home, realises that it’s only half six – not half eleven like he though – and gets another round in. Hurah!

Highlights of pub:

Restaurant – Mexican food and thick, dark beer. John, David, Agent Phil and I eat, drink and get merry / rude / flatulent on refried beans and chilli. More bollocks is talked and a good time is had by all. And at the end of the night, David insists on picking up the check. Lovely guy – weird as monkeys, but lovely. If you’re ever in central London (Leicester Square-ish): go to his shop, they specialise in signed first editions. Believe it or not, he used to be a priest, but he got better. Purveying books is a much more noble calling.

Middle of night – get up to drink half a litre of Evian, and consume much ‘Fizzy Make Feel Good’. Back to bed and the jagged lullaby of Kings Cross.

next up: Wednesday!