Last week, I was heading home after a morning’s lesson, and midday’s horse-reiking, musing out the window of the bus. I thought about my novel, and what I’ve done to promote it, particularly the bit where I went on the TV show [see the Consuming Passions category.] Well, that was something, it made me feel like I was doing something to get my name out there, to get Drama Queen on her feet, and as I ran over the whole undertaking in my head, I had to laugh at myself, I mean, geez, sure, maybe I sold a few copies — I hope so! — but, wow, the lengths I went to, to promote myself… And I’m sure that, you know, I’m fortunate, that I got to be on the telly, and everybody said I was great, but, sheesh, come on, talk about kind of wacky, kind of ‘above and beyond’, and I’d rather try to, I don’t know, maybe just do some radio, or get some kind of signature column somewhere to keep my name out there, but I probably wouldn’t ever do anything like that again—

And then the phone rang.

My American readers won’t be familiar with panto. The pantomime is a Christmas entertainment, performed relentlessly at the appropriate time of year across Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, in which a classic fairy tale is told with song, dance, and larger-than-life performances from its cast of, if not thousands, than many many many. They incorporate contemporary tunes rejigged to fit the theme, risque humour for the adults, and at least one man dressed up as woman.

I reviewed one once. It went on for hours. The audience was so wired up with sweets and ice cream, that it didn’t seem bad form to answer my mobile. ‘Are you at the zoo?’ asked the caller.

Nope. I’m at the panto.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

In short: I was pitched the notion of taking a small part in the Cheerios Peter Pan Panto, starring Big Brother winner Brian Dowling, in order to write about it for HQ Magazine, The Evening Herald’s Thursday supplement, for which I am the cultural correspondent. So, it’s like, you know, work. But hey! What if my character was called Drama Queen? Right? And what if I got a quarter page ad in the programme, in return?

What. Am. I. Like!

So, it is work, really, and you know, I’m just going to stand around in a scene, maybe have a line, or something, and get a good piece out of it, and…

…maybe sell a few books…

Sinead, the public relationist asked me if I danced.

Oh, God.

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