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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

In Harrods this afternoon, dashing up the escalators two steps all at once, catching only familiar scenes of antiques, perfumes and furnishings, I had made in just in time to meet with Mark Walden - a children's book author, busy signing copies of his debut novel called H.I.V.E. . It tells the story of 13-year old Otto, who has been chosen to attend the top school of villiany.
Full of baddies, action and lashings of humour, described the Sunday Times.
I found Walden to be congenial and good-humoured, his hair a lot longer now and falling onto his shoulders in dark ringlets.
The author had caught enough attention amongst mums, dads and curious toddlers browsing in the children's bookshop (4th floor), with his jovial laughter and good chat.
He enthusiastically scribbled a message for me - I had told him the book was for someone I knew with a wild mind. And the small crowd which beamed down at him with approval, had laughed out loud.
I found the former video games producer to be highly inspiring. Of course, I'm going to read the book myself before handing it to my friend.
I am considering the idea of writing a childrens' book myself. I was serious about it last year but lost heart. Now I blame London for giving me notions.
From the categories neatly lined along the bookshelves, I discovered that my stories were suited for the 9 to 12 year old age group by British standards. Which meant that I had approached the children's book publisher wrongly in the past.
A crowd of babies and kiddies ruled the scene demanding toys, comics and picture stories. Parents pleaded, argued and debated with sly cunning but to no avail.
Of course, Harrods helped along by an ever-pleasing workforce, always boast a classy festive air.
The Christmas shop was crowded with early window-shoppers browsing for decorations. And the food halls smelt of chocolate, breads and pastries, reminding me of Hansel & Gretel.
I myself felt like a child.
I also picked up the latest Times Literary Supplement magazine with its smashing essays - this time on Plato, Lessing and a review of Indra Sinha's Animal's People amongst others. I couldn't resist buying the newest London Review of Books magazine and it offered a free novella - a collection of short stories by William Trevor called Bodily Secrets.

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