Yesterday I was lucky enough to head off to Waterstones in Nottingham for their wonderful Oceans of Words event where authors Ruth Dugdall, Louise Beech, Holly Bidgood, Tracey Scott-Townsend and Cassandra Parkin introduced themselves, telling us why they write and reading from their books.
With apologies for the quality of my phone’s photos, here’s a little bit about the event.
After we’d all grabbed a hot drink, a soft drink or a glass of wine we settled down to hear from our authors.
First was Ruth Dugdall who explained all about how her background as a probation officer had led to her dark themes in her writing and how she’s interested not in the so-called evil of the crime, but in the mind of the criminal and how they have become who they are. Ruth read from Humber Boy.
Tracey Scott-Townsend then held us all in thrall as she described delivering a letter to her dead sister. Tracey is an artist as well as a writer and finds parts of her life and personality seep into her writing. Tracey is particularly interested in creating empathy through storytelling. Tracey read from Of His Bones.
It was then down to Cassandra Parkin to explain how she comes from a family of essentially bossy women and wants to explore their matriarchal and often almost supernatural influences. Cass read from the enchanting Lily’s House. You can read my review of Lily’s House here.
It’s always a pleasure to hear Louise Beech speak and each time there is something new to find out. Yesterday Louise told us how she writes to find her own story, as she has had an unsettled background like Connor in her latest book. Louise read from The Mountain In My Shoe.
Last, but by no means least, was debut novelist Holly Bidgood. Holly is fascinated by landscape, and atmosphere and place are most important elements to her as a writer. That focus certainly came through when Holly read to us from The Eagle and the Oystercatcher.
Once the readings had taken place there was a lively question and answer session where we discovered that being a writer is certainly not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, that all five ladies cannot help writing – it’s something they feel totally compelled to do and that the essential aspect for those wanting to write is to ask themselves, ‘How can I make a life that has writing in it?’
The afternoon concluded with the opportunity to speak with the authors and get books signed and I was disappointed I had to dash off quite so soon to get my train. I really enjoyed every moment and would like to thank all five authors and Waterstones in Nottingham for a fabulous free event. When shall we do it again?