FCBG member, Andrew Beasley, recently published his first book, The Battles of Ben Kingdom – The Claws of Evil. To celebrate its launch he did something rather special and I ask Andrew if he would tell us a little about what that was…
“To celebrate the launch of The Battles of Ben Kingdom – The Claws of Evil, an intrepid band of editors, bloggers, booksellers and librarians gathered outside Borough Market on a crisp night in February (huddling slightly for warmth) before setting out in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes… and young Ben Kingdom himself. As with everything that Usborne do for their readers and writers, the unique walking tour exceeded my expectations in every respect. I was especially delighted that our tour guide had read (and enjoyed!) my novel and took us around the very cobbled streets where the story is set. Down those dark and somewhat foreboding alleys we found a ragged school where Ben might have learned his letters whilst back-chatting the teacher, of course, and an authentic Victorian Inn where I found myself looking for old blind Jago Moon, hunched by the fire.
We were treated to a fantastic evening with all the sights and sounds (but fortunately not the smells) of London 1891. Our guide even managed to find one of the secret locations to the Under – the network of tunnels and secret chambers beneath the streets were the Legion make their home. All the while a statue of a fearsome eagle was watching us with a stony gaze, like some stone reincarnation of one of the terrifying Feathered Men. The climax of the evening was a walk through the docklands and the most remarkable view of Tower Bridge, the setting for the final battle in my book. For me it was the first step in the most wonderful journey of my life – my debut book tour, the very stuff that dreams are made of.
Apart from my wedding day and when my two amazing children were born, it was quite possibly the happiest night of my life. Check out the picture of me clutching my book; I don’t think my smile could have been bigger if I had tried.”
You can meet Andrew at conference this coming weekend where he will be hosting one of the Saturday afternoon seminars.