In two weeks I am going to be standing up in front of a group of (mainly) adults of a good reading age and reading to them. The audience, I imagine, will be perfectly able to read on their own, but they will come to hear me read from Magenta Opium. Maybe they're hoping if the author reads it it will make more sense? As with so many things, it is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because, well, it's pretty cool. A book reading. Me reading Magenta Opium. Cool. A curse because, well, what to read?? (As in, which chapters, not whether I should abandon Magenta Opium completely and read a bit of Arthur C. Clarke, just for a laugh.)

I love Dexter and I went to a Jeff Lindsay reading where he did a major spoiler! He read some early chapters then jumped to a later chapter where the menace and intrigue he had started to build came crashing down with the revelation "it was my brother". Had I not attended the reading then the suspense he was maintaining in the all the chapters up to the reveal would have been sublime, but instead I read it all thinking, 'it's okay, Sharon, it's just his brother'. (Note: I'm not talking about book one, that would be a spoiler too far!)

There's a reason I wrote chapter 17 after chapters 1-16, it's because I want you to know what's been happening in the lives of Veronica Dempsey and family before they get to chapter 17. Choosing what to read is more difficult than writing the thing! 'Ooh, I could read [spoiler]... no, wait, I don't want them to know [spoiler] before they know [spoiler].'

For those of you that have read Magenta Opium already, I was thinking of starting with chapter 1 (a very good place to start), then perhaps chapter 8 (interlude) and finish on chapter 42. That ought to give a good indication of what Magenta Opium is all about.

If you would like to come and be spoiled, I will be reading from my novel at Reading Lasses in Wigtown on FRIDAY 12th JULY. There will be wine with the reading and you can stay on and eat in their fine establishment for the very reasonable price of £12.95 for two courses. The menu is wonderfully drug-themed and I will be providing some magenta opium for the masses!  Register your interest HERE.

See you there!
Magenta Opium by Sharon Baillie, Friday 12th July, see you there, man!