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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Fine Likeness gets its first public reading!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I had my first reading of A Fine Likeness. The city of Madrid sponsored me as part of their annual Noche del Libro (Book Night). On Monday I read at J & J Books and Coffee, a great little English-language used bookshop/bar that’s a popular meeting ground for expats and locals.

I was scheduled to read at 6pm, which is very early for an event in Spain, especially on a weeknight. When I got there, I saw only two guys quietly drinking at the bar and I got the feeling they weren’t there for me. A friend of mine was alone downstairs looking at the books. Meanwhile, I’m sipping on warm water and trying not to cough, a legacy of a rainy London pub crawl from a week before. Not an encouraging start!

Well, nobody expects you to start on time in Spain so I waited an hour. By that time, the bar had filled up nicely and so I started my reading. I read the entire first chapter, which is short, introduces several main conflicts for one of the protagonists, and gives a feel for the historical era. I then read a few shorter passages to give the POV of the other protagonist. When I finished I got warm applause that did my soul good.

Then I opened it up for questions. This is always a bit scary because you never know what to expect. I’d placed a ringer in the audience to ask a question. There’s nothing worse than asking if anyone has any questions and being met with dead silence. Luckily, several people had questions and some were quite good. One guy asked, “You mentioned you’re a history writer. How do you feel about using real historical figures in your fiction?” Damn good question, and one I’ll devote a blog post to later on.

In all I sold ten books, mostly to people I didn’t know, and I got to see some old Madrid friends I don’t see often enough. All in all, a great evening!

If you happen to be in Madrid, J & J’s has a stock of my books!


  1. Sounds like an interesting experience.

  2. That's awesome, Sean! Damn, questions would terrify me.

  3. It sounds like your story was met with a great response!

    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

  4. Hi Sean .. well that sounds like a good evening - in the end. So pleased you had some sales and success.

    I'd love to visit Madrid one day .. I haven't seen much of Spain .. so a trip is long overdue .. and they have castles!

    Delighted for you .. cheers Hilary


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