He rose from his seat and went to the kitchen to put the kettle on for his evening coffee, while the pot boiled, he returned to the library to pull out his small desk; on the desk he placed the books, in the same grouping as he chose them; when the books had been placed for maximum effect; he pulled his old table over from the far corner of the library, so the table was by the wall opposite the window; he then took the chair to the table and arranged the seating so he sat at the head of the old table, at which the evening’s talk would be held.
He decided to adjust the setting at the table, in doing so he needed to bring in to the library a few planks, if only to give the seat a little elevation for impact, for the writer was neither pompous or arrogant, but he thought the evening’s proceedings deemed a little status and to this end he made a small platform of the planks, as he finished the small task he glanced at the clock on the wall, “Not long now,” he muttered as the clock showed 8:00. The friends arrived on schedule and he lead them to the library for a drink before the evening began, “You know where the drinks are, please help yourself to some and feel free to roam the cases while I go into the kitchen and pour a coffee; as you recall I can’t drink alcohol.”
The first group to be shown in consisted of Sandra Moore, the long-time friend of the writer, although not a fan of his writing, she had been a supporter of his talents and kept him writing; Janice Marsh, another long-time and close friend, Janice was not only a supporter of his writing but a big fan of the work; standing next to Janice was Harriet Jessop, who like Janice had become both a big support and follower of his works over the years.
The second group to enter consisted of his US fans. Doreen Nash, the hard talking Texan who had stood in his corner against the many on line assaults his work endured, together they backed each other in various struggles and out of this a great bond of friendship had grown; behind Doreen came Pam Johnson from New England, although soft spoken her demeanour belied an iron will and she too backed the writer against detractors, when he felt his writing lacked conviction-Pam and Jackie Hunt were the editors in the group of friends; the last of the ladies to enter, but by no means the least of his friends was his editor Jackie Hunt, she chose to enter last in order to judge the group and their reaction to each other, being his editor, she realised he might use the scene in one of his new books and she wanted to view the cast, so later she had the chance to look back and remember the night. The last guest to enter was US writer Bernie Tolliver, both Doreen and Bernie were in a good mood as they had recently signed contracts for their work.
The two groups mixed as they walked as they walked around the library, which although small contained a good variety of books from classics to modern writing and from history to the sciences.
The writer introduced the two groups to allow them time to chat as he left the library to get his coffee, from the kitchen he could hear the conversations and the first voice heard was Doreen’s, “Has anyone and idea what this evening is about?”
Jackie replied, “I’m at a loss and the email was no help, all it said was I have something important to tell you.”