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Past Events

December 2023

Non-Stop Intrigue with Janice Hallett and Elly Griffiths

We were joined for a very festive Book Club by best-selling authors Janice Hallett and Elly Griffiths, showcasing their latest works, The Christmas Appeal (Janice Hallett) and The Great Deceiver (Elly Griffiths).

The authors shared a love for “writing what you know”, with both pinpointing the personal experiences which shaped and influenced their writing choices for these novels, from the locations to the vulnerable traits of certain characters. Janice delighted in bringing to life her Christmas panto themed murder mystery story, which she could richly lace with funny and sinister nuances from her decades of experience in the world of amateur dramatics. Whereas Elly revealed that she had set the murder scene of her novel in the exact house she grew up in during the swinging sixties in Brighton.

Both authors were asked about whether the label of “cosy crime” resonated with them and their writing; and they agreed that while they consciously avoided gruesome descriptions, readers might be surprised by the darkness in some of their plot twists and characters.

A spectacular evening, where the conversation between the authors could have carried on long after the evening came to close!

October 2023

An evening with Louis de Bernières

It was a wonderful evening in October as we welcomed top-selling and world-renowned author Louis de Bernières to our monthly Book Club event. You could hear a pin drop as he captivated the room by speaking about his writing process, sharing what inspires him and revealing how his passion for understanding the world around him is what drives him to write. It is this passion for researching and exploring various concepts which allows him to author complex stories built within vivid worlds which cause the readers to question reality.

Interestingly, though, while his latest novel, Light Over Liskeard, explores complex topics such as quantum computing and apocalyptic worlds, he explained that love is the central theme in all his books, and this one is no different. He believes that love is the most powerful and complex emotion. It can be a source of joy, pain, hope and despair and it is this along with its different expressions, such as romantic love, familial love, platonic love and even a love for animals, that he intertwines into his stories.

We were given a sneak preview into the Light Over Liskeard as he read two excerpts from the novel. This left our audience wanting to explore it further, evidenced by the long queue of people waiting to get their hands on a copy and have Louis sign it.

It was a very inspiring evening spent with a remarkable man.

September 2023

An evening with Louise Doughty and Catherine Ryan Howard

In September we were joined by best-selling thriller authors Louise Doughty (A Bird in Winter) and Catherine Ryan Howard (The Trap). Both authors shared a window into their creative processes, and interestingly, how they took completely opposite approaches to one another. Catherine claiming to be a ‘plotter’ – with a well-defined plan before she begins writing; and Louise stating that she was a ‘plunger’ – with a tendency to dive into her story and figure it out along with her characters.

Both authors shared the delights and challenges of adapting their works for the screen, as well as revealing which of their works were currently in the pipeline, with production houses from ITV to Amazon Studios. Questions from our lively audience sparked conversations ranging from how modern reader appetites are changing, to how to believe in your own ability as a writer.