Posted by: billpurdue | March 25, 2010

92 Two ‘local’ authors

Stephen is out and about again

Yesterday I went along to Kirkby library for a talk by crime author  Stephen Booth. Stephen is often to be found talking about his writing in Nottinghamshire libraries and elsewhere: he is a great supporter of libraries and in yesterday’s talk, he explained, amongst many other things, how libraries helped to fuel his reading habit.

He told how, during his childhood, there were no books in his household, except for a copy of The Bible and a book on fortune telling, though he did find a copy of Silas Marner, the George Eliot classic hidden under some spare bedding at the bottom of a wardrobe. He explained that his parents didn’t read at all and were rather puzzled that their son wanted to read anything and everything he could get his hands on.

Eventually he joined the local library and began to read as much as he could. He is proud of the fact that his enthusiasm for reading eventually rubbed off on his parents and they began to read and are still reading today, visiting the public library themselves. For Stephen the next logical step after reading was writing and so a new writer came into being, though he didn’t write crime novels from the start.

Well, I’d better stop there. Otherwise Mr Booth will be accusing me of stealing his thunder. If you get the chance to go to a talk by Stephen Booth, don’t let it pass. He is well worth listening to and his talks are always peppered with many touches of humour. Find out about where he is next by looking up his website. Oh, and his next Cooper and Fry novel Lost River [Harper Collins £18.99 9780007243488] is out on April 1st.

Well, Ah’ll be blowed

I’ve just discovered a local author , whom I probably ought to have been aware of 2 years ago. Back in 2008, Joy James brought out her first book of reminiscences of childhood in St. Annes’ in Nottingham in the 1940s, called Yo’d Mek a Parson Swear [published by the author , £9.99 plus £2 p&p, 9780956364401] (For those who don’t come from these parts , “yo’d mek..” is translated as “you would make..”)

I was made aware of these books thanks to the latest local studies list which Derbyshire Libraries kindly circulate to me. I’d like to get my hands on this book or one of the other two (Yo’d mek a Parson Swear – again and the latest, Bog all to Swear About) which Joy James has written to see what they are like, so I’ll be placing requests at my local library. If you want to buy any of the titles, you can get them direct from Joy James at 5 Colwick Park Close, Colwick, Nottingham, NG4 2DZ.

Orange Prize Longlist

The longlist for this year’s Orange Prize was announced on March 17th. The Orange Prize is awarded to the woman who has written the best, eligible, full length novel in English published during the past twelve months (in this case 1st April 2009 to 31st March 2010). The longlist consists of 20 titles; the shortlist is due on 20th April and the awards ceremony on 9th June.

The longlist this year includes the Booker prize winning Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, The Long Song by Andrea levy and The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.

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