Welcome to my
online journal...

My name is Alexander Gordon Smith, and I'm the author of various books including The Inventors series and the brand new Furnace series.

This is my blog, and is where I talk about books, writing and, well, probably other stuff too...

Aye Write!

Yay, I've finally done my first show! After being terrified of the thought of it for months on end, and paranoid that I'd freeze on stage and stand in silence for an hour or just run from the room screaming, I managed to get up there and keep some delightful Scottish children entertained!
It was a really lovely experience, and I'll talk about it in a minute. But first I need to get something off my chest, I need to have a grumble, about the trains...
I was supposed to get the 9.55 from Norwich to Peterborough on Wednesday, followed by the train from Peterborough to Glasgow which was supposed to get me there for 4pm. But no. The Norwich to Peterborough was cancelled, so I had to go to Ely, then to Peterborough. And the Peterborough to Glasgow was cancelled so I had to travel to Edinburgh. I arrived in Edinburgh at about 7pm to find that the trains to Glasgow Central weren't running, so had to wait for one to another station. I eventually arrived at the hotel five hours late and fuming! Things were almost as bad on the way back, the train from Glasgow to Peterborough was cancelled again so I had to go via Edinburgh, then change at York, then Peterborough then Ely then finally Norwich at way past midnight yesterday.
So, eight trains instead of four, and six hours more on them than I was supposed to have. When is this country going to sort out its rail system?!
Anyway grumble over. My time in Glasgow more than made up for late trains. When I got to the (extremely swanky) hotel I met Justin Richards, the author of many books including the excellent Death Collector which I am reading now. We had a great chat and he put my mind at rest about doing shows (I was pretty much quaking in my shoes all night at the thought of my morning's performance)! So thanks Justin!
After a while we were joined by the people who run the Aye Write Festival in Glasgow, which has an absolutely fantastic line-up this year (not just me)! Andrew and Karen were both really lovely and welcoming, and had some great stories about the literary celebs they had met whilst running the event. Speaking of which, Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat) and Blake Morrison joined us for dinner, which was cool! I had a few glasses of wine and soon felt quite relaxed!
I have to mention my dreams that night though. I must have had about three nightmares about getting up to do my show and forgetting all my notes and props and not knowing what to say! In one I even got to the venue and realised that I had to perform from the top of a tree, and I was trying to climb it but there were spiky brambles and slippery bits and I just couldn't get there! Talk about classic anxiety dreams!
Fortunately I didn't have to perform from the top of a tree. I was in a beautiful room in the Mitchell Library, and there were two classes waiting for me when I arrived. The guy introducing me was so friendly, and really made me feel at home, which I will be forever grateful for! But my heart was still pounding when I walked to the front of the room and introduced myself. But in the end I had a great time, and was soon discussing crazy inventions with the kids and future gadgets that can give you superpowers and even some inventions they came up with themselves! Before I knew it an hour had flown by and I didn't want to stop!
So now I've done my first show and I feel much happier about getting up and talking to people. It really is fantastic fun and it's amazing some of the ideas the audience comes up with! I'm doing many more appearances this year, so keep an eye on the website and if I'm coming to a town near you then pop along and say hi!
Just don't take the train...

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