|Although it is a bit of a giveaway when they look like this|
Well how should I know what his real name is? I'm hardly going to take down their personal details, am I? Especially when they are only asking me something, and if you don't shut up you're never going to find out what it is that they ask, are you?
Thank you. People, who may or may not be robots called Doris. Bob and Destroyer of Worlds, keep asking me 'why don't you write like that bloke?' Well, eventually they ask me that but, as stated above, this is North Yorkshire, so first we have to discuss the weather and the new bus shelter and the kids and the dogs and what we're doing for our holidays, so the topic of books eventually crops up somewhere around the ten minute mark when Robotic Bob (for the sake of argument) says 'you wrote that book, didn't you?'
Given that I have written several books (all of them quite delightful and available from Amazon ) it is somewhat hard to know what to say here., so I usually smile and nod, also in a delightful way. I am utterly delightful under these situations, of course, when there's a chance that someone may either ask for my autograph or want to buy another book. And Robotic Bob nods slowly and says 'I don't read those romance things. My favourite book is...' The thunderclouds gather overhead like the first intimations of doom. Lightening spears its way from the heavens as though God's RCB has tripped. 'Now Then Lad, by...' and I cover my ears,but I cannot help hear the name ...'Mike Pannett'.
And I make my excuses and leave. For Mike Pannett is my arch-nemesis. Wherever I go, whichever bookshop I visit (in professional or amateur capacity) there his books sit in stately display. When I pass through my local WH Smith, there he is, sitting signing copies of his latest book. Whenever I go to enquire about, you know, just maybe popping in to the local shops to do a book promo, there issues forth from the staff a heavy sigh, a clasping of bosoms (all right, maybe I imagined that bit) and a breathy 'We had that Mike Pannett in last week...'
I suppose I should consider myself lucky - I mean, how many people can say that they actually have an arch-nemesis? Sherlock Holmes, obviously, maybe Iron Man (and I would offer to be the downfall of Robert Downey Jr any day), Superman even has his Lex Luthor. All incredibly powerful people. And here I am, a mere romantic comedy novelist, able to boast that I too have a nemesis! And, oh, if that isn't an excuse for a gratuitous picture then nothing is...
So, who would have thought it? Here's me.. here I am, waving, over here, look... a mere slip of a romantic comedy novelist... with a deep and abiding connection to Robert Downey Jr. And all because of a man who writes books about rural policing.
Now, Robert, if you'd like to come over so that we can compare notes...?
And while I wait for that, quite frankly, unlikely scenario to come to pass, please note that next week's blog may be a little later than usual. For, you see, next weekend I shall be in London at the RoNA awards. Drinking too much champagne, wearing unsuitable underwear, clapping very loudly and hopefully watching my friends get masses of awards. Or very drunk. Or both.
Now, Robert, about this nemesis business....