I've been invited to join an event to celebrate World Book Night in April. It's an honour, but has also set the old Hall brain stumbling and stuttering into action, because some thinking is required.
This is why - I've been asked to talk about my favourite children's book, the book which has influenced me the most, and my guilty pleasure (of a reading nature, I assume, or hope.)
Good questions... and ones which set me ruminating on the place that books have had in my life.
In the tvdetective series, it's Claire who tends to read more than Dan, usually settling down at night with some crime fiction. A little ironic for a Detective Sergeant, and a fine one at that, but she enjoys comparing them with the reality of her job. Dan tends not to read, he's usually engaged with thinking through a case.
Which raises the question about whether I read a great deal? Well, the answer is that I do, athough not as much as I used to. These days, spare time being rare and all that, I tend to spend my evenings thinking of the next piece of writing or teaching I'm going to do and working on ideas.
But it's always a book before bed, even if just for a few minutes. It helps me to relax into a sleeping mindset and I suppose is a habit I picked up in childhood. I've always loved books and creating stories and characters in my mind. Which, I suspect, is much of what has enticed me into becoming a writer.
Anyway, back to the World Book Night event, and my thinking on the works I shall talk about. I've already mostly decided - if you're like me, some books just stay with you and never leave - but I won't reveal them yet. It'd be like telling you the end of one of the tvdetective stories before making you wade through the preceding hundred thousand words first!
But what I will say is that there's going to be some humour in there, some poignancy, and also some fun. Which, strangely (or not) reflects a fair amount of my character.
The event is at Plymouth Central Library, and I'll post more details as I get them. Keep an eye on the News and Events page www.thetvdetective.com/news.html if you're interested.
Finally for this blog, another of my top tunes, as I might have said back in my DJ days. As a guilty pleasure is to be part of the World Book Night event, I thought I'd post a favourite song of a similar ilk.
So, with all due hesitation, a squirm and a reddening of the face, I thus unveil.... MacArthur Park (the Richard Harris version.)
Yes, I know what you're thinking, I can almost hear it, but hey - anyone who can write a song which compares the break up of a relationship to a cake in the rain certainly deserves acknowledgement, if not necessarily respect.