Curious Compliments

This might just be me, or it could be an English thing, but I've noticed a strange habit people have when being kind enough to praise my books and stories. 

I was in the lovely Devon resort of Ilfracombe this week, doing a book talk - 


That was the view just outside the library, which certainly helped to make for an uplifting evening. 

Anyway, I worked my way through my wafflings, then signed a few books and mingled with the audience - and picked up some curious compliments. 

"You made my week really hard because I was so tired", was one. I did wonder what was coming next, after that, but happily discovered it was pleasant. 

Apparently I'd hooked the poor reader and made it impossible for them to put the book down (Balance of Guilt). 

Another lady said, "I always put your books in the toilet", which really did leave me wondering what that meant.

But it was more reassuring news, as that - strange though it may seem - was where she stored books she wanted to keep because she'd enjoyed them so much. 

(I know what you're thinking, but this is all true - not even me, with my diseased imagination, could make this stuff up.)

One more "compliment" which stuck in my mind was "you made me burn my supper". 

The poor chap in question had to find out whodunit in The TV Detective. 

It was a delightful evening and a hugely enjoyable event, which left me smiling all the way home with the comments I received. 

And who can complain? Praise for your work is praise whatever, however creatively expressed.

After all, as one reasonably well known writer once put it - "A rose by any other name..."