Readers ‘ Day

I mentioned the other week that I was trying to prepare a bookshop for the St Austell Library Reader’s Day; well the event has been and gone and it was a huge success. It was well attended, all the authors turned up, the books sold well and the day flowed without a hitch.

The day had been organised by Debbie Wallis from St Austell Library and was a complete credit to her; she wanted a theme of “home and away” Cornish tales and tales of remote places and perilous journeys, even more perilous than trying to cross the A30 at Goss Moor before the bypass. I was entranced by Clare Dudman’s “A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees” about the exploits of the Welsh miners in Patagonia. I know at the bottom of every pit there’s a Cornishman but I bet he’s sharing his crib with a Welshman. On listening to Clare’s tale EV Thompson mentioned that when in was out in the Kalahari, researching one of his books he travelled 1000 meters down a Copper mine and met two men from Camborne.

The day was full of little tales like this, authors laughing about shared experiences, readers and writers joining in on the experiences and sharing their own. It turns out that James Michener, the rather famous American author has a team of researchers to do all the research work for him. All of our authors felt that that would remove them too far from the story, and then fell around laughing and asked who they thought they were kidding?

Many of the authors were new to me but great fun and very interesting; thriller writer, John Tagholm was very entertaining and a great salesman. A lot of the audience had read his books and there were some very frank and enjoyable conversations, it seemed to all about the sex scenes but I might have got that wrong. No sex but lots of skinny dipping from Tessa Hainsworth writing about her new life as a Cornish post woman. I’m in the middle of her book at the moment and what with running over various wildlife, skinny dipping and paddling in creeks I wonder that I get my mail at all some days. Mind you her love of Cornwall is so wonderfully infectious I’m surprised we’re not overrun with converts from London delivering our post.

Phil Cope has published the most beautiful collection of photos of the Holy Wells of Cornwall to follow on from his Welsh Holy Wells, the images are stunning and made me itching to go out and discover them. They look rather chilly though so I’ll probably keep my clothes on.

My next book is going to be Mr Rosenblum’ List by Natasha Solomons who was also there on the day. It’s her first book and it’s already going to be turned into a film, a fabulous boost for a new author. At the other end of the scale EV Thompson modestly revealed that his entire back catalogue is about to be re-issued, what a glowing endorsement from his publishers.

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