A while back, HarperCollins US sent me a couple of review copies and some proofs. They turned up by courier as things do, and I thought little of it. A few days ago, I got an invoice from the courier and binned it on the assumption that it was obviously a mistake.
Bad idea. Today I got the followup, asking me for £77 by return.
So I rang, and pointed out that this was obviously a mistake.
They claimed that HarperCollins had ticked the box indicating that I am supposed to pay. I pointed out that this was hardly likely - publishers do not do this to influential critics, and they also get our names right - Rox Kaveney of Whisrn Road was how it read on the letter from DHL...
So I talked to GrahamTheLawyer and he said 'Unsolicited Goods Act' and I faxed DHL offering to give them the books back and asking for a guarantee that they would take no further action. And I e-mailed HarperCollinsUS, who are as annoyed as I am.
What affronted me about all of this was not the mistake because things happen. It was the attitude at DHL that they must be right and could not possibly have screwed up.
More of this in due course, no doubt.
Not much going on in the Bill at present, except for the new Northern DC who is a) there specifically to annoy Manson, hired by Superintendent Adam for the purpose b) a big dyke who has chemistry with Samantha, but alas has a girlfriend already. In my sad fantasy world, the girlfriend will turn out to be someone we know already, like e.g. Debbie McAllister, or the cute young dyke who got minor brain damage, but we shall see.
Otherwise Gabriel goes on getting away with murder and there was staggering femslashiness between Gina and Irene Radford, who interrupted their hostage moment by proposing, well, saying Gina should join her on the lam. Then just as Irene surrendered on the promise that Gina would visit her in jail, Rob Thatcher gunned her down before committing suicide by Armed Response Team and Irene died in Gina's arms. The Bill has been full, of late, of unacknowledged lesbian affairs that only become physically tender when people die - we got the same thing with Yvonne and the tiresome doomed Shirley.
Maybe the new DC will break the run of doomed dykes. Who am I kidding? Her cards are marked.
OTOH Christian homophobes failed to stop the gay wedding of boring Lance and boring boyfriend. Tony Stamp shed a manly tear, doubtless reflecting that he should, in his younger days, have glommed onto Reg or Jim Carver.
I wonder if they will ever manage to go a week without a hostage crisis.