Talking books

It was a privilege and enormous fun – OK, and nerve-racking too, after two years being shut away! – to be invited to Morpeth’s first-ever book festival last month. My mother and I took part in a talk with other local writers of memoirs and travel books, chaired by Mark Iveson. Mark is a published author himself, whose Cursed Horror Stars has received great reviews.

We spoke mainly about Bedpans and Bobby Socks, that being the book that led to all the others. It also gave Gwenda an opportunity to entertain us with some of her stories.

I enjoyed meeting my fellow writers on the panel. The aptly named Miles Hewitt is a perpetual traveller – who was setting off on his next trip just a couple of days later. His latest book is Miles & Miles: Travels Through a Fragrant Europe.

Former teacher Scott Weightman’s love of international travel was kindled by the Bellingham international camps he attended as a student in the 1960s. Mirror on a Lamp Post reflects on four decades of globetrotting and its sales will benefit charities in this country and overseas.

Bridget Gubbins (who also writes under her maiden name of Ashton) spoke about her childhood memoir, Hay Before the Bookshops or The Beeman’s Family. Bridget’s book was my holiday reading on a short trip I made following the festival – and I loved it! It’s a very evocative account of growing up in the market town of Hay-on-Wye before it became a mecca for booklovers. Bridget’s next book is about a year on foot behind the Iron Curtain in the 1960s.

Thank you to the Greater Morpeth Development Trust, who organised the event, which was held in the recently restored and redeveloped Queen’s Head Hotel in the town centre, now a bar/restaurant complex called Pleased to Meet You. What a great-looking venue it is – as you can hopefully see in the photos.

Last but by no means least, thanks to the festival’s bookseller, Helen Stanton, of Forum Books in Corbridge – and newer stores the bound (Whitley Bay) and The Accidental Bookshop (Alnwick). Follow Forum Books on Facebook to get news of all the author events Helen organises.  

All eyes on Gwenda!

Look at that amazing roof!

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1 Response to Talking books

  1. Alder & Gwenda Gofton says:

    That’s good. I’m pleased to get all the names and books of the others. 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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