Nick, Ed and Me - or why I wish the book industry could be more like the film industry
You either know it or you don't but this is a prime photograph - it shows Nick Frost and Edgar Wright; co-star and co-director/writer respectively of Hot Fuzz. I do have a picture of Simon Pegg and (be still my beating heart!) Bill Bailey, but they are both really crappy pictures. I don't care though, because I took them and I was there!
You probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about - but if you do, I know you're jumping up and down in your seat. Yes, oh yes, this lady made it to the Hot Fuzztival! I won tickets, which meant that Kai and I got to see all three films that were shown before Hot Fuzz itself, and we heard the live audio commentary that was given by eight members of the cast. The queue for tickets when we arrived at 10.30, went down the street, around the building and along Leicester Square. Did we feel like gods when we were able to walk to the front and collect our wristbands giving us privileged access? I'm afraid we did.
So ... what can I tell you if you're not already a Hot Fuzz fan? It's a very funny, lovingly-written spoof/homage to the cop movie genre. It's from the guys who brought you the hilarious Shaun of the Dead. It nails its colours by offering an opening sequence showing our hero cop performing acts of extreme courage over the soundtrack of Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant - is that enough for you? No? Okay, it's got more acting talent in it than you could shake a baton at: Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbant, Billie Whitelaw, Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy, Edward Woodward ... did I mention Bill Bailey (be still my beating heart!) because he's there too. Go and buy it.
Anyway, all that apart, and the fact that we missed the last train and had to slope around in various crusty places for hours before we could get home, there is something important about this that I want to say. It was all such bloody FUN!
Now, I go to a lot of book launches, and I know the publishing industry doesn't have the money that the film industry does (or so the claim goes) to throw at marketing but damn it, people, I have never been to a book launch that had any razmattaz at all! I've been to good launches; pleasant ones, thought-provoking ones, amusing ones (Alexander McCall Smith playing the bassoon comes to mind) but none with a queue that went round a building and down a street.
So I want to say thank you to eofftv.com who pulled my name out of their competition hat, new media maze who put the day together and the Prince Charles Cinema who Fuzzed to the utmost for the fans; thank you to the wonderful stars of Hot Fuzz who came along and made a large audience very happy, and thank you, above all, to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright for being such brilliant writers.
And, dear reader, I promise you that if the words 'book launch' and my name are ever mentioned in the same breath, I shall try to get as much razmattaz into the event as possible. And I don't mean borrowing the McCall Smith bassoon either ...

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