I was put in mind of that iconic--to me, at least--image by this picture Len Tyler sent me. It's of the gathering of MNW writers and friends Len and his wife Ann hosted in London on Friday to mark David Isaak's visit to London. The parallels with the Vance book are inexact: charnay was not served, but I can never see a group photo like this without thinking of The Book of Dreams. The guests in Vance's picture are unidentified, so I will leave it to the reader to work out who is who here... As well as MNW writers we have an editor (THE editor, in fact), a bookseller and, all being well, a future Macmillan New Writer.
It was marvellous to meet so many of the other members of this blog. What was strangest was that it didn't feel like meeting new people at all. With those whose blogs I keep up with the most, like David, Matt and Aliya, it was like resuming a conversation broken off the same day.
One of the most impressive things about the group was the complete absence of ego. Anyone published by MNW has, by definition, achieved a level of success most aspiring writers can only dream of; but this is a group of people whose focus is on the craft of writing, not on the trappings of being published. And everyone genuinely seemed to enjoy the success of everyone else on the list--and indeed to have read each others' books. I suspect, though, that no-one has read quite as many as David Isaak, who has not only read every MNW title ever published but, it seems, every title ever published, full stop!
One of Len's guests last night was David Headley, the proprietor of the exceptional Goldsboro Books in London. David is a great supporter of MNW titles and it was good to see him again. If you want to buy any MNW book--or other signed first editions--why not get it from here rather than Amazon or your local High Street chain?
It was a great to meet so many people I had previously only known virtually, and it was a splendid evening. Thanks again to Len and and Ann for making it possible!