Staffordshire authors are taking to the virtual stage for this year’s celebrations for Staffordshire Day on Saturday 1 May.

Book Chats, which are being organised by Staffordshire County Council’s Libraries Service will bring together some of the county’s most popular authors with crime thrillers, sci-fi, comedy and non-fiction amongst the topics up for discussion in the two pre-recorded chats.

Crime and thriller writers Jim McGrath and Tom Bryson will be joined by saga and historical genre authors Misha Herwin and Mary Lewis, in the first book chat being streamed at 10am on Saturday 1 May.

The second panel, featuring dystopian author Angeline Trevena, science fiction writer Phil Tittensor, Lindsey Woodward, author of humorous romance and travelogue author Steve Dyster, will be broadcast at 4pm on the same day. Both chats will be shown on Staffordshire Libraries’ Facebook page and on Twitter.

Misha Herwin from Stoke-on-Trent said: “We moved here about twenty years ago when we came back from Jamaica and it’s a city I’ve grown to love. The people are so friendly, there is so much going on if you know where to look and there are some fantastic Victorian buildings, not to mention my favourite museum The Gladstone Pottery Museum, where our writing group put on an annual ‘Ghosts at the Gladstone’ event.”

Lindsay Woodward, who was  born and bred in Great Wyrley, said: “I am very proud to have come from England’s creative county. With the culture, art, green spaces and ceramics that spread across the area, it’s hard not to be inspired.”

Phil-Tittensor-autho-NUL
Phil Tittensor

Phil Tittensor from  Newcastle said: “Staffordshire is a place to notice things. A canalside walk with man-made structures, little changed in 200 years, and wildlife that in spring may be fleeting. Noticing is therapeutic – it’s inspiring. Opportunities are abundant. We just need to recognise them.”

Tom Bryson (main image) from Kinver said:  “Writer’s Block? Never a problem. At the first suggestion of that, I step out over Kinver Edge and let the next scene in my novel seed and bloom in that glorious Staffordshire expanse of heathland, woodland and pasture land.”

Jim McGrath said: “I have lived in Chasetown and Lichfield for over forty years. Although my novels are set in Handsworth, West Bromwich Albion are frequently mentioned by a lead character and several scenes have been set in and around Lichfield, including Whittington Barracks and  the war time airfield at Fradley. Ever since I read the Short Caution, which won the Lichfield Prize for a first novel, I have wanted to include aspects of Staffordshire in my books. A Death in Spring: 1968 is set between the semi-final of the FA Cup and the Final,  which West Brom won and the climax of the book takes place on a deserted Fradley Airfield.”

Janene Cox, Assistant Director for Culture, Rural and Safer Communities at Staffordshire County Council said: “Staffordshire is a place that inspires creativity and we are incredibly lucky to have such an abundance of amazing local authors right on our doorstep. It’s great that so many are supporting this year’s Staffordshire Day celebrations which gives us a wonderful opportunity to share our pride in our great county. As in previous years, our libraries service are hosting a packed programme of activities including The Book Chats, which will give book lovers the chance to hear from local authors and their latest titles.

“The best way to keep yourself updated on the libraries service activities is on their Facebook page and Twitter.  So whether it’s the author book chats, poetry sessions, online crafts or quizzes there will be something for all the family. Make sure the date of Saturday 1 May is in your diary.”

Read more about Staffordshire Day HERE. For further details on Staffordshire Day events visit: www.enjoystaffordshire.com/staffordshireday

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