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