A fantastic evening at the shop on Wednesday night. Brenda Ridley, who joined Mostly Books in January, kindly agreed to write a report on the event. I just wanted to thank everyone who came along, squeezed in, and made it such a great event - Mark.
"The Crowded Bed - wow! What an introduction to my first evening event and an apt title for an event that saw the shop almost bursting at the seams! It was lovely to see so many supporters of ‘Mostly Books’ and have opportunity to chat in a relaxed ambiance, that was made even more welcoming with a glass of wine – or two.
Mary Cavanagh, a local author gave two readings from her first novel, holding our attention as she read an opening extract from her book introducing us to the main character. It soon transpired that Joe Fortune – a Jewish doctor – epitome of utmost respectability - was harbouring a deep, dark secret - namely a growing obsessive desire to do away with his obnoxious father-in law, whilst the second extract was an example of the humour that runs all the way through.
During a time of questions and answers Mary shared some of the stresses involved in getting your novel published. When asked about plot development Mary revealed that she had undertaken several re-writings, partially driven by the characters themselves. One of the phrases that stuck in my mind on this subject - and this is a very rough paraphrase - was ‘characters should be left, like animals, to wander home at night on their own rather than being herded into pens.’
Mary also directed us to ‘The Sixpenny Debt’, a collection of Oxford stories written by local authors, some of whom had come along to support Mary and were also readily available for signing. Mary also recommended Kate Atkinson’s ‘Behind the Scenes of the Museum’ that had been an earlier inspiration to her own writing and quickly encouraged the budding authors in our midst. There were also a number of Bookcrossers - who we've mentioned before, but whose website can be found here, for anyone as curious as I was about their clandestine and curious activities!
Mary concluded the formal part of the evening with a reading of her poem ‘Baby-boomers’, evocative of her earlier years and bringing back great memories of the mini skirt and the Beatles!"