Last week I did something I have never done before. And it being the first time, I was abit rubbish at it. I was a chat virgin.
I have had one-to-one chats on Facebook but until last week, when I was invited to chat to individual readers and reading groups around the country, was the first time I had been involved in a mass-chat. I’m fairly sure that’s not the right terminology and saying “mass-chat” is a bit like your dad talking about musical combos or the hit parade, but hey, you know what I mean.
I logged on to the site http://www.rchatrandom.co.uk/archive.asp?sessionid=42. Nothing. I waited some more, and still nothing happened. The moderator sent me a text saying that there was a glitch. Questions began to appear: Was I still in a relationship with Juanita? What were my motivations for writing the book? How did I keep track of the conversations contained in the book?
All I could do was sit and look at the screen and watch the questions build up: was I surprised at the large number of relatives you found in Mexico? Would I like to give a talk on the book at Words by the Water at Keswick?
After about fifteen minutes, the screen finally flickered to life and then I had to write as fast as I could to try and answer all the questions before the clock ticked down. It was like being in an exam, but with nice questions.
After an hour, time was up. The screen went blank and I having spent an hour typing to furiously to people all over the country, I found myself alone in a dark room.
I got up and made something to eat.