I’m honoured to be a founder member of the group of Bury St Edmunds authors called ‘The Writers of Bury and Beyond’. The driving force behind the group is Rachel Churcher, award-winning author of YA sci-fi, who also provides editing services for other independent author/publishers.
The group have established a Local Author bookshelf at the iconic Market Cross in Bury. Thirty-three titles by twenty local authors, including me, are currently represented and books are free to read with coffee and cake supplied by the in-house café.
A different group of authors are in attendance each month, at the Makers’ Markets held at the Market Cross every month from April to November. It was my turn to attend recently and what a rewarding session it was, with lots of local interest and shared stories and experiences.
You can read more about the group, the Market Cross itself and the events there by following this link – we are in the February 2023 edition.
P.S. The Local Author Shelf is under the window opposite the café counter
Photograph courtesy of Writers of Bury and Beyond
A week or so ago I was at Cressing Temple Barns with my books to take advantage of their Christmas fair. Built by the Knights Templar, these barns date back to the 13th century. They are some of the oldest (and largest) wooden structures of their kind in Europe.
While I sat waiting for interested buyers, above me spanned an ancient, beamed roof. As the day progressed and the temperature rose a degree or two, fine wood powder started to collect in minute piles at one end of my table.
Was it the result of past woodworm activity falling like magic dust in the increasing warmth? Or had some new inhabitants of the beetle persuasion (woodworm are actually the larvae of woodboring beetles) worked their way into the ancient beams?
Diss Publishing Bookshop
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, but was in reality some days later, I was at the Diss Publishing Bookshop. Saturday 13th November to be precise, and I was promoting my latest novel in the Utterly Crime Series – Utterly Dredged. I had my book presentation set up again, but this time was surrounded by 20th century wooden tables and bookshelves.
Diss Publishing is a locally run business, in Diss, South Norfolk, first established in 1864. They are well worth a visit if you are in the area. As their website says – ‘We offer an ‘old-fashioned’ service, so you never have to be afraid to ask for help. At the Diss Publishing Bookshop the customer always comes first!’
As the day progressed and the temperature rose a degree or two there was no magic dust accumulating on the table. But there were mouth-watering aromas that drew me into the bookshop’s wonderful café. There I ate a slice of delicious cake made from finely ground almonds.
Mmm…fine powders, both ancient and modern, it set me thinking…
It has been great fun and a very new experience to convert my written pages into an audiobook. I am so lucky to have found Andy Deane, a talented actor based in Bury St Edmunds. He is not only the narrator, but is also skilled enough to edit the recordings. I think the official term would be producer/actor/narrator. (He might put the list in a different order!)
It was very important for me to find a narrator who could ‘do’ a genuine Suffolk accent – not West Country or a miss mash of other accents, but the real deal!
Andy Deane brings the characters to life with his warm versatile voice AND speaks with a genuine soft Suffolk accent when required. (Now that was a mouthful!) I have always been able to imagine my characters voices, but to actually hear them given life is amazing.
The audiobook, Utterly Crushed is available through Amazon, Audible and iTunes.
Cover design by Rebecca Moss-Guyver.