The other day I had the great pleasure of snapping the launch of thriller writer Tim Weaver’s new book Never Coming Back at Waterstones in Bath. We’ve known Tim for years (he used to be the wife’s boss way back when, but they’ve forgiven each other now) and it’s fantastic to see him doing so well. Thoroughly deserved too, and if you’re a fan of murdery-stabness do take a look.
Personally it’s very pleasing to have been able to do this shoot for each of his books: there’s always a nagging fear that the folks a Penguin will decide this time they want a proper celebrity-snapper and rope in someone from Hello magazine, but happily (for me at least) he hasn’t reached those giddy heights yet. Mind you, now he’s made the Richard & Judy recommended list it can’t be far off (for those outside the UK, that’s like getting an endorsement from Oprah!).
The most fun thing about this event is seeing someone you know surrounded by real, live, honest-to-god Fans. It’s profoundly incongruous seeing a whole bunch of people who’re genuinely thrilled to meet, well, Just Tim.
Goodness knows what it must be like for those around the properly famous, for whom George Clooney, say, is primarily the bloke who used to feed the cat when you were on holiday, but can’t do that any more because a) he now lives in a mansion miles away and b) he’s fed up of being mobbed by the neighbours. Must be very odd.
Of course I’m as bad as anyone. Probably worse. I was like a child at Christmas when David Sedaris came to town, even if I did try to convert him to cricket in the 30-second signing conversation, which on reflection is not the most suave thing I’ve ever done. And I’ll be even worse over Bill Bryson later in the year (both courtesy of Toppings, incidentally: as fine an independent bookstore as you could hope for). No doubt they too have mates looking on in bemusement as people like me do the potty-dance of joy as we get that precious signature.
But with Tim at least I can feel ever so slightly cool and collected (a novelty at the best of times) while full-on fans become all giggly and shy. And it has to be said he wears it very well. I can honestly say he expects no more worship and adulation than he ever did.