Bitter Leaves

By Tabatha Stirling

A novel that will bring you to the dark heart of Singapore's maid culture

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Pitch Party Heaven

I lived in London from 1993 to 2005 and when I left, after falling in love with a Scotsman, I really felt my love affair with our capital city had come to an end. But I should have known that you can become very cross with London but you never stop loving her.

Unbound's inaugural Pitch Party was hosted by Waterstone's Gower Street deep in the heart of Bloomsbury. My first love attended UCL and I wrote my first novella from a fashionable squat near Great Portland Street tube but it was a very different atmosphere to soak up this time.

London has been cleaned up in the most glorious of ways.  And I mean literally cleaned.  Everything looks brighter, less shabby and remarkable. Unsurprisingly, the old squat on Albany Street, visited quite regularly by a middle-aged Eddie Ten Pole Tudor in his tweeds, had morphed into a gorgeous townhouse but the Police station that we used to play 'squat and pig' with almost every day still remains.

The Met in those days had a fearsome reputation and 'human rights' were only just beginning to become a 'thing' so messing with the cops in any way could result in quite severe consequences.  

Being idiots, we never stopped trying.

I arrived in London about 2.30 pm and was immediately scooped up by some ex-Navy old-timers (I did know them!) who plied me with 'courage français' ( Remy doubles).  

This ploy worked because as  I poured myself along the streets of Bloomsbury, staggering gently, probably mumbling to myself about whether I should have prepared something or not and laughing to myself as I remembered places & people I felt pretty good.  I must have looked utterly barking but as this is nothing unusual I went with the flow.

Thankfully, the place filled up quite fast and there were some other Unbounders who had come to support us like the totally gorgeous Lev Parikian and the man with the best hair & a fabulous Agatha Christie mystery set in space, Damon L Wakes.  I also saw a couple of old writer friends that I'd never met in the flesh including the magnificent Tina Rath, a member of the Dracula society and talented gothic storyteller.

There were eight of us lined up to pitch.  I was away with the faeries by then so I wouldn't have cared where I was in the running order (penultimate as it happened) and just before William Horwood.  Yes! The one who wrote one of my favourite books ever 'Duncton Wood'.  

But I feel I must mention the other pitching authors by name because they were brave and so talented. Please have a look at their pages, there is so much brilliance to pledge for.

Emily Hill David Quantick Henrietta Heald Emma Jones and Ian Ridley


As always, my wonderful supporters, my gratitude to you and don't think for one minute I'm not working away editing to get 'our' book into the hands of readers as soon as possible.

And remember that you can pledge twice, thrice of multiple times for Blood On The Banana Leaf.  There seems to be quite a buzz about it now which is pretty exciting.

Love, Tabby x









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Damon L. Wakes
 Damon L. Wakes says:

It was great to meet you! And wonderful to read about what you used to get up to when you lived in London. My main experience of the city is that I see something new every time I'm there. On this occasion the highlight was probably Waterstone's (with an apostrophe on the sign!) itself. Last time it was a guy casually rolling down a hill on one of those B.C. wheels.

posted 27th April 2017

Tabatha Stirling
 Tabatha Stirling says:

I even managed another plug for TLA's :) Lovely to meet you too. I am going to try to save up for another pitch party to come and support everybody else. It is such a good way to meet other Unbounders too x

posted 27th April 2017

Diane Dickson
 Diane Dickson says:

sounds like you are quite a group over there at Unbound. !

posted 27th April 2017

Lev Parikian
 Lev Parikian says:

Thanks for the gratuitous mention, and lovely to meet you too. Onwards and upwards!

posted 27th April 2017

Tabatha Stirling
 Tabatha Stirling says:

We are Di! Wonderful support.

posted 28th April 2017

Tabatha Stirling
 Tabatha Stirling says:

Thank you, Lev. I'm still fangirling over the fact that you are a conductor! :)

posted 28th April 2017

Henrietta Heald
 Henrietta Heald says:

Hi Tabby
I really enjoyed meeting you last week – both at the pledge party and then on the train heading for Newcastle and Edinburgh! When (a long time ago) I first got together with my husband, he was living in a squat in Gloucester Gate Mews, just off Albany Street. You have my card, I think – please get in touch by email.
Good luck with everything, Henrietta

posted 29th April 2017

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