|Table decoration at the wonderful West Meon WI Tea! Just for 'The Coward's Tale' - what lovely ladies!|
First, Bantry, West Cork, Ireland.
On Thursday June 6th, I travelled from Eyeries, where I was warming up for the short story course at Anam Cara Writers and Artist’s Retreat, and drove the hour or so back to the town of Bantry. The Bantry Library Book Group had read ‘The Coward’s Tale’ and invited me to attend their meeting.
|The rather lovely building, Bantry Library, waterwheel in front.|
Next, Frinton, Essex. Saturday 30th June saw me driving up to Frinton (the day after driving all the way back from a family week in Cornwall...) to attend a wonderful event organised by Caxton Books of Connaught Avenue, Frinton - the annual Book Groups get-together.
|Judith and Sally in their wonderful bookshop!|
|Welsh cakes - delicious!|
Last but not least, West Meon, Hampshire. The West Meon Literary Festival is held with the support of One Tree Books of Petersfield, who are on hand selling books. I was lucky enough, not just to be invited to attend, but to take The Coward’s Tale to what must be one of the best events of the festival - the WI Tea!
Well. Suffice it to say we had a tea never to forget - wonderful - a themed tea to go with the novel. So, there were welsh cakes, bara brith, sandwiches galore, there were Welsh dragon flags, flowers in the same colours, and tables crammed with eaters and listeners. I decided to talk about food in the novel, tea at my grandmother’s, (sandwich spread sarnies, jelly with tinned mandarins and evaporated milk) - and I had lots of wise nods and cried of ‘Oh yes, I remember that!’.
|The lovely lady who made the best bara brith Ive tasted in ages...|
Smashing. It was great. Then I read the hardest scene to read - well ring the changes - and signed books. Sigh. It was lovely to meet up with Imogen Robertson and have lunch. Imogen also won The Daily Telegraph Novel in a Year competition in 2007... and is now well-established and on to her fifth novel. Also enjoyed seeing Tania Hershman and fellow Bloomsbury author Marika Cobbold - both of whom were doing lit fest sessions - a wonderful festival indeed. And here are a few more pics of cakes, dragons, flowers, from the West Meon Tea!
And finally, also reading my novel this last week, was a group in the US. Sent the book by friend and writing colleague Beverly Jackson, they sent me questions to answer in advance of their meeting, so I almost felt like I was there. Wonderful to know it is being read all that way away. Can't tell you how nice that is.
Thank you all.