Advice to authors who are offered a book tour in China: Just go, you’ll be amazed.
People queued for an hour for me to sign The Song of Names at the Shanghai International Book Fair. Most were under 30, many under 20. Some had bought six copies for their friends. I have never signed so many books in my life. Hundreds.
A reader introduced himself as a general in the People’s Liberation Army. ‘Which division?’ I asked politely.
‘State secret,’ he replied.
Every journalist and TV presenter who interviewed me – more than twenty, in all – had read the novel and developed an opinion of it. What can I tell you? Shanghai is author heaven. If invited, just go.