Last Thursday we staged our first ever corporate entertainment Peirene Salon.

Back in the autumn I was approached by a company director. He came to a Peirene Salon, took a shine to it and asked us to organise a special Salon for his work colleagues as a Christmas treat.

He warned us: his junior colleagues – most in their mid- to late twenties – wouldn’t be thrilled. In fact many of them would prefer a meal at a restaurant followed by a night club.

We were unperturbed by his worries.

We flew in our youngest and trendiest author, Dutch Jan van Mersbergen. We booked a pianist. We provided Peirene home-made potato salad and the Salon’s famous 3.5kg Camembert.  We ordered Champagne and festive red and white from The Wine Society and got the Whisky ready for after the meal.

Jan entertained for half an hour. He talked about how to write and read extracts from Tomorrow Pamplona. The food was accompanied by background piano music and at the end of the evening each guest was presented with a beautifully wrapped copy of Peirene No 5.

The feedback was wonderful. People were delighted and surprised. None of them had ever talked to an author, most of them had never attended a literary reading – and yet all of them enjoyed themselves.

I gave Peirene a huge hug at the end of the evening.

“Well done, my Nymph. Without your spark I couldn’t have done this evening.”

She flinched at my wet kiss on her cheek and freed herself from my embrace.

“You don’t have to get all emotional.” She said, embarrassed about my affection. “After all, to spread the value of good literature is the responsibility of a publisher.”

I again threw my arms around her before she had time to escape.

“Yes. But in our own small way we do it rather well. We persuade people to engage with literature who otherwise would not have done so. I am so proud of you.” I squeezed her tight.

“Ah, I can’t breeze. Let me go.” Peirene exclaimed. “Anyway, I don’t think many will read the book.”

“I am not so sure.” I replied with a smile. “I’ve told them that Tomorrow Pamplona contains three fab sex scenes and their eyes lit up.”


Merry Chritsmas and a Happy New Year. I’ll be back here with the next episode of Peirene “Pain and Passion” in the third week of January 2012.