Pulling the Plug Desire

Peirene author No 9, Swiss Richard Weihe, came to town for four days to launch Sea of Ink. We organized three events – a Peirene ExperienceSwiss Ladies. Image by  MCAD Library with music and dramatic reading, an author’s talk at a Belgravia bookshop and, of course, the Peirene Salon.

A week before Richard’s arrival we still only had three bookings for the Peirene Experience evening – and this despite our best efforts to publicise the event on twitter, on facebook and in our newsletter. I decided to pull the plug, but Maddy wanted to persevere. ‘It will be a brilliant event. Just like the Peirene Experience we organized for The Brothers. We had music and actors. Everyone left enthralled.’ She spent the next few days sending out another round of invitations. Amazingly she filled the room and the evening was a huge success with glowing online feedback. And here is another review.

When I set up the first Peirene Salon three years ago, no one lined up for that evening either. With the first five Salons I spent a lot of time just attracting people’s attention. Now, the salons have gained a momentum of their own and they are booked up weeks in advance with a waiting list in place.

‘This was the worst Salon ever!’ Peirene was in a bad mood this morning. She glanced around the kitchen cluttered with dirty dishes and empty bottles. ‘And now we have to clean up this mess. I’ve had it with Salons. This was my last one.’

I looked at her in surprise: ‘It was a great Salon,’ I contradicted her. ‘Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.’

‘I didn’t.’ She sat down on the kitchen sofa crossing her arms in a huff.

‘I am sorry to hear that.’ I said soothingly.

‘No, you are not. After all, you invited these women into your house.’

‘Which women?’ I asked slightly puzzled.

‘The Swiss ones. Eight of them. I counted. And a couple of them even came all the way from Switzerland when they had heard that Richard will attend our Salon.’

‘But that’s a huge compliment to our Salon and our author. His fans follow him all the way to London.’

‘And then besiege him all evening long. ‘

I smiled into my coffee cup as I suddenly understood why the Nymph didn’t like yesterday’s salon. Jealousy had once again got the better of her. I sent her back to bed and cleared up the kitchen myself. When she reappeared in the afternoon, her mood had improved. She was willing to continue with the Salons. ‘But only, if I sit next to any good-looking male author.’  I will need to have a talk with her before the next Salon, but for today I decided to avoid the issue.

Image by MCAD Library.

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