#literaryfestival #bookfestival #authorsigning #event
As the days become shorter, the nights longer and a certain crispness pervades the air why not visit Tamworth to celebrate stories designed to delight, excite and even provoke a frisson of fear?
I’m looking forward to attending Tamworth Literary Festival’s Twilight Tales event on Saturday 29th October. There’s something for all ages: authors reading from their own work; informal meet the author sessions and writing workshops. You can also meet the team at Midland Paranormal Investigations and quiz them about their ‘ghostbusting’ experiences – all in the name of science of course!
The event brings together a super collection of talented authors celebrating the art of storytelling (scroll down to find out more about them). Authors will be reading from their own work, which includes ghostly tales, horror stories and true crime. Writers and budding writers can attend workshops suitable for all ages and you can meet the authors and if you wish purchase signed copies of their books. Midland Paranormal Investigations will also be on hand to talk about their services and offer free Investigations.
Drop by St Editha’s Church Hall anytime to hear the storytelling sessions. The event is FREE, but booking is required for the workshops (priced £2 -£3) as places are limited. Donations to Tamworth LitFest gratefully received. The programme for the day is set out below and for more information connect with Tamworth LitFest:
If you’d like to take part or want to volunteer to help email firstname.lastname@example.org
St Editha’s Church Hall
||Giselle Thompson reading The Bones of a Plot, a light-hearted theatrical ghost story with a romantic element. Set in the Commedie Italienne in Paris in 1716.
||Pat Spence reading from her forthcoming collection of Urban Ghost Stories (suitable for teenagers)
||Moya Green, Tamworth Writers’ Group reading The Ghosts of Grimleigh Hall (suitable for ages 8/9 and above)
||Gareth J Wood – reading tbc
||Maithreyi Nandakumar reading No Rest for the Wicked
|New St Authors: Lee Benson, Guy Etchells, Andy Conway, Martin Tracey and David Wake each reading one of their own ghost or horror themed stories PLUS AA Abbott reading First Blood, a tale of horror in a Bristol cider pub.
||Andrew Sparke – Bella and the Wych Elm (true crime)
||Overview and conclusion
Tickets for the writing workshops (£2 – £3) and Midland Paranormal Investigations (£3) available from Tamworth Library.
About the Authors
Giselle Thompson is a writer of short stories, a collection of which has been published in ‘A Receiver of Stolen Words’ – fifteen short stories, formed of words stolen from different places and from different times. Giselle is currently working on her first novel.
Moya is a member of Tamworth Writers. She writes mainly short stories, particularly of a humorous or fantastic nature. Her published work includes a comic novel ‘The Apotheosis of Jabez Pigstock’, a collection of ghost stories ‘The Little Snakes of Sliver Throat’ (both available on Kindle) and a short story collection ‘Dogsbody’ (paperback). More may be found on her own website www.allwritemoya.com
Pat Spence is a freelance writer and ex- magazine editor. She has worked as a copywriter in advertising agencies, a freelance trainer teaching personal development and a massage therapist/aromatherapist. Books include: ‘Abigail’s Affair’ a quirky love story about a woman coming to terms with having an affair, set against a colourful Australian backdrop. ‘The Blue Crystal Trilogy’, (comprising ‘Blue Moon’, ‘True Blue’ and ‘Into The Blue’) a supernatural love story about a strange family, with an ancient secret, that arrives in a Midlands village to renovate an old manor house. Pat is currently working on a collection of Urban Ghost stories.
New Street Authors
New Street Authors is a writers co-operative and support network for indie publishing and marketing our work. A number of currently published members are participating in Twilight Tales: AA Abbott, Andy Conway, David Muir, Andrew Sparke, Martin Tracey, Lee Benson and David Wake.
Andrew was once Chief Executive of a large local authority in the West Midlands. During that time he was involved in writing or editing several public sector textbooks but everything else got put on hold. Now he plays at management consultancy and only agree to do different and interesting work for people he enjoys working with – things as diverse as bio-fuel projects in far-flung places, helping dis-engaged young people with the Leaps & Bounds (Inspiring Change) Trust, acting as an adviser to Public Sector plc, being a trustee for Young Orchestras.com and for The Mariposa Trust (which organises the Saying Goodbye services for grieving parents) and running an Amazon trading business called Sparkys. And around it all he writes constantly.
Lee was the owner of a successful contemporary art gallery in Birmingham called Number Nine. Since closing the doors of his gallery he has concentrated on using his creative capabilities. ‘Never too late’ is Lee’s battle cry and he’s exploiting all his talents as a painter photographer, musician and poet. His first collections ‘Failing To Be Serious’ and ‘Meandering With Intent’ are already available as Kindle eBooks. He is also the author of the Henry Egg books for children and is working in a comedic fictionalisation of his career ‘So You Want To Own An Art Gallery’.
Guy Etchells is a teacher, writer and keen gardener living in Birmingham. Born and raised in the Black Country, Guy’s Christmas and birthday lists always consisted of pens, pencils, bumper packs of coloured felt tips and heaps of paper. According to his family, Guy spent hours upon hours on characters, plots, and stories. After having his short story, The Peppermint Mouse published, Guy realised he wasn’t using his imagination or creativity. He enrolled on an MA in Writing at Birmingham City University in 2014 and was introduced to the world of screenwriting and indie publishing. Guy is currently working on his first adult screenplay and novel Listeners.
Andy Conway is a novelist, screenwriter and filmmaker based in Birmingham, UK. He publishes prolifically across a range of genres, the most popular being his Touchstone series of time travel historical novels. His first feature film, Arjun & Alison, a campus revenge thriller, hit the international film festival circuit in 2012, and had a UK cinema release in 2014. He was commissioned to write it by a director-producer and appears several times in the film as an extra. He has also written many other feature film screenplays, some commissioned, some on spec, and has had a few short films produced, including The Secret of Year Six, starring Dexter Fletcher. His next feature film will be Long Dead Road, another revenge thriller, which is also out as a novel.
When he isn’t writing, he teaches screenwriting at Birmingham City University, and he also runs the Shooting People Screenwriters Network bulletin, which goes out to 11,000 writers worldwide every day.
David Wake was the Chairbeing of the Birmingham Science Fiction and Fantasy Society at the University of Birmingham. It was during his time at University that he created ‘drabbles’, stories of exactly 100 words. He’s been an active member of science-fiction fandom since the 80s. He started writing for the theatre in 1998, with 18 plays produced, winning awards and taking two shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. It was while taking an MA in Creative Writing at Birmingham City University that he was introduced to Indie Publishing.
He’s published four novels: I, Phone (Eastercon 2013), The Derring-Do Club and the Empire of the Dead (ArmadaCon 2013, where he was a Guest of Honour), Hashtag (Eastercon 2014) and the second in the steampunk series, The Derring-Do Club and the Year of the Chrononauts (Worldcon 2014). He co-founded New Street Authors with Andy Conway.
AA Abbott, also known as Helen, writes crime thrillers set in Birmingham. Having lived in Harborne for many years, she was tempted south to Bristol for work. “I didn’t realise then that jobs come and go,” she says. “These days, I do temporary work in large corporations and take long breaks to write, getting back to Birmingham as often as I can – it’s where my heart lies.” Helen’s books include: Up In Smoke After The Interview The Bride’s Trail Read free tasters of Helen’s writing at http://aaabbott.co.uk/free-stuff and find her on Twitter @AAAbbottStories and Facebook
Martin Tracey is an author who likes to push the boundaries of reality. He has a passion for The Beatles & Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. Both music and football often find their way into his stories, as do elements of the supernatural – a topic which has always fascinated Martin.
A proud native of Birmingham, Martin tends to set his books in and around his home city or other English settings. His working-class roots are reflected in the edginess and honesty of his writing enabling the reader to connect with his gripping stories. Although specialising in tales of chilling suspense, Martin is a versatile writer and does not necessarily wish to be restricted to one specific genre. He keeps an open mind about tackling almost any subject providing there is a good tale to tell. Martin loves to engage with his community and his readers. Here are just some of the events where he has featured: Waterstone’s and Library book-signings, Beer and Books at The Gunmakers Arms and various ‘Meet the Author’ events across the UK, including Liverpool home of his beloved Beatles.
Gareth J Wood
Gareth J Wood was born in Birmingham and, barring spells in Wales and the Far East, he’s lived there ever since. He went to university in Birmingham and Lampeter, completing a degree in literature, after which he went over to Taipei with his partner, Claire, and tried teaching. Sadly it didn’t work out. He and Claire now share their home with two angry terriers. Gareth used to perform live, forming a collective called The Blue City Project. He has written many short stories and completed two full-length novels, The Malignant Man and The Master’s Marionettes. He writes all the while and can often be seen riding on late-night buses grumbling into torn notepads.
Julia Ibbotson lives in the heart of England in a renovated Victorian rectory. She read English and Sociology at Keele University after a gap year in Ghana. She was a school teacher, before gaining her PhD and becoming a university lecturer. Apart from academic research texts, Julia has written a memoir, The Old Rectory: escape to a Country Kitchen (with recipes), a children’s book S.C.A.R.S, and her Drumbeats trilogy. She is currently completing a new novel, A Shape on the Air, a historical/romance time-slip story. Apart from reading, she loves travel, singing, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and walking.
Melody (Mel) works part time as a teaching consultant in Primary schools in Coventry, specialising in dance and P.E. This followed a long career teaching full time as a Primary School teacher in Birmingham and Coventry schools; also as an AST for Coventry – helping to inspire young teachers especially in dance. She has also worked at Warwick University with trainee teachers.
The stories were first started to provide a resource for Mel’s literacy lessons and then continued just for fun. Mel wanted to write stories that could be told or read in 10 minutes. More importantly she thinks that they are good fun to read and will appeal to boys and girls of KS2 who have been told to put down their computer games for 10 minutes.They have all been inspired by real events and observations of teachers and children and that Mel has taught. The endings are quite strange and leave the reader thinking. Maybe a children’s version of “Tales of the Unexpected”
The Illustrator Beth Blake
Beth currently works as a teaching assistant at a Coventry School where she and Mel first met. Mel was impressed by her obvious talent and asked her if she could find time in between her full time job and raising her family to produce some illustrations to help bring the stories alive; after asking children in her class whether they thought the book should be illustrated; which they responded to with a resounding “yes”. The result is a delightful book cover guaranteed to attract attention and a series of super illustrations which really capture the mood of each story.
Shelley Wilson divides her writing time between the fantasy worlds of her young adult fiction, which she writes as S.L. Wilson, and her non-fiction self-help books for adults. Shelley Wilson’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of eight when she followed Enid Blyton up The Magic Faraway Tree.Inspired by Blyton’s make-believe world, Shelley began to create her own stories, weaving tales around faeries, witches and dragons. Her fantasy books blend a love of the supernatural with strong female protagonists. Shelley’s non-fiction work is rooted in a passion for helping women to believe in themselves and become strong, motivated individuals. Can you spot the common thread between the two genres?
As well as writing, Shelley is an obsessive reader and book reviewer. She lives in Solihull in the West Midlands, UK, with her three teenage children, a kitten called Luna, and a fat fish. Shelley describes herself as a teetotal, pizza-loving, Facebook addict with a preoccupation with list writing. She would love to live in the Shire but fears that her five-foot-ten-inch height may cause problems.
Heide Goody and Iain Grant
Heide Goody and Iain Grant write comedy novels together, including the bestselling Clovenhoof series. They are both married but not to each other.
Maithreyi Nandakumar writes fiction and is a journalist working in print and sound. She has worked for the BBC in radio and television and has recently moved to London after many years in Bristol. Her short-stories have been published in anthologies (Bristol Tales), broadcast on radio (BBC World Service), online (Over the Red Line, Toasted Cheese) and made the last 16 for BBC Opening Lines 2014. Her completed novel ‘Stirring the Pot’ is awaiting fame and fortune.
Connect with Tamworth LitFest:
If you’d like to take part or want to volunteer to help email email@example.com