New Beginnings – 4 The Love Of Books

I observe that heart-swell moment of being able to leave my coat behind in the morning and step outside to the sound of a sky lark. This month has marched in like a lion and is now gently playing out, like a lamb. Fun new things are springing up. It’s a fresh season.

In Chester, at Festival Coffee on Queen Street, a new event has sprung up with its first shoots breaking the ground last Saturday (March 11th). A somewhat ‘organic’ event, 4 The Love of Books is growing around exciting writing and excellent coffee. The idea was sown by emerging children’s writer, Lee Stevenson from Little Sutton, who approached Festival Coffee asking if he could use the venue for an event that would nurture a love of books and writing. His dream, to have a time and place in Chester for authors to talk, readers to listen and conversation to follow, was sprouting.

As writers, it is so good to be able to share the fruit of our labour. It was a real privilege for me to sit alongside Lee and, seasoned crime novelist, Luca Veste on Saturday and talk. We explored and discussed our inspiration, our stories, how we dug deep into our imagination to create vivid characters and word-scapes. It was comfortable conversation with people listening from the sofas, coffee to hand, in the warmth of the afternoon sun.

The beautiful thing is that Saturday was just a start, a new beginning. Initial anxiety of ‘how will this go?’ has been ploughed back with confident assurance that it will go well and it will grow well. There is an appetite. People like to listen as much as they love to read and write. A sense of community learning from each other to love books is being tended to, in Chester, our very own backyard.

Previously, a lady had been observed noticing the poster on the door.

“Is he coming here?” she asked in surprise. “I’ve read all of his books.” Her excitement was tangible.

Who will be interviewed next, I wonder? Who will it be that we can learn from? I can’t wait!

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4 The Love Of Books with Luca Veste, Lee Stevenson and myself, in Festival Coffee, Chester.

Thank You!!

I can’t say a big enough thank you to everyone who helped make the launch of Elin’s Air a success. There were so many people willing to share their talents to make it a great event. I loved it. Thank you to Festival Church for hosting and providing such a perfect venue.

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My thanks to all those behind the scenes who have incredible technical skills and managed the sound, timg_4966he lights and the screens. Also thank you to the wonderful drama team for all the time and energy that they put into creating a wonderfully dramatic depiction of a scene from the book. You were amazing!img_4969

 

 

 

 

Special thanks to the cake maker who made a genuine simnel cake which has been much enjoyed since!

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Thank you, too, to Welsh composer Tim Rowlands for his beautifulimg_4951 new piano composition “Elin’s Air” inspired by the landscape of the Lleyn Peninsula, and named after the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_4960Welsh Assembly Member, Darren Millar, was an absolute star drawing the winner of the competition run by Hillman Publishing, sharing his response to reading Elin’s Air, his own discovery of gold and informing us of the work of the Evan Roberts Institute.img_4963

 

 

 

 

We also had the talented Morgan Hebner, who painted the cover of Elin’s Air, with us, sharing some of her other work. I’m so grateful for her lovely servant heart and time she gave to be there. She really brings something beautiful with her.

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I was really encouraged by those who came to join in celebrating the release of the book, especially those who travelled so far to be there. Thank you!!

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It was great to have The Gallery Coffee Shop open, even though it hasn’t been open long and to sample  the wonderful Heartland Coffee that comes from a roastery in North Wales. My thanks to staff of The Gallery for being willing to serve so many while it is still early days for the coffee shop, and to do it in costume too! Amazing!

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I also have to express huge gratitude to videographer, Joel Parry for all his hard work filming and editing in preparation for the event and then also being willing to film the day itself. He is incredible!img_4921

Photos of the day are the handiwork of my son, Josiah, whom we have discovered has inherited a portion of the photographic gene that originated in the Chester branch of my mother’s family.

img_5008But the biggest thank you of all must go to Hillman Publishing for making a dream a reality and helping to birth Elin’s Air!

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Book Launch

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October 15th 11am @Festival Church, Chester

All are welcome. There will be a display of the cover artist’s work; other books available from Hillman Publishing; a dramatisation of a scene from the book; an interview with the publishers and author; book signings; presentation from the Evan Roberts Istitute; a newly commissioned piece of music called ‘Elin’s Air’ performed; the publisher’s competition prize giving; and access to the Gallery Coffee shop.

Starts at 11 and the church will be open for the rest of the day for people to drift in and out as they wish.