The first guests arrived before 7pm and were welcomed with fresh lemonade by our kind volunteers – much appreciated in such a warm day of August. More people gathered inside this gleaming space in Lancaster Central Library where Joe Gardiner’s guitar began to create a magic atmosphere. This talented musician performed his own songs – I am sure we will hearing them on the radio soon.
Jennifer read an extract of Kintu, her first novel, which – as Naomi pointed out – left us breathlessdue to its intensity and tension. Guests were lucky to get a signed copy of this unique novel which – for the moment – is not available in the UK.
Carol read an extract of her acclaimed novel Jamrach’s Menagerie followed by the first few pages of her next unpublished project – Jo Baker offered another literarypreview in the 3rd of July NWLS. Carol’s story has quite unusual protagonists – objects. She explained that after losing her father’s book collection she realised how important objects are to us – as they are linked to memories of moments and people.
Yvonne and Naomi led a lively discussion in which we discovered what I am sure relaxed all the writers in the audience. Both Jennifer and Carolconfessed never being completely satisfied with the editing of their novels – including the published ones. Carol even showed her own copy of Jamrach’s Menagerie where she had notes added on pencil for her readings. Jennifer also gave advice on how to balance research and writing in a creative project. The Northwest Literary Salonsare much more than a fun Friday evening. You could meet here the new members of your book club, a writing pal or perhaps – who knows – your own muse…
Kate Horsleywas born in England but crossed the oceans to move to Boston, where she studied at Harvard University and lived for almost a decade before her childhood dreams of being a writer began to haunt her and she ‘abandoned truth for fiction.’ She did her MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University where she wrote her first novel – The Monster’s Wife – which was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book of the Year. If Frankenstein is one of your favourite books and you like dark stories set in the Highlands, you probably want to come and meet Kate…
Kate and Paul are enthusiastic authors who will bring fascinating stories and useful advice for writers. You can ask Kate about creating tortured characters or a believable historical atmosphere, and Paul can give you tips for writing short stories on twitter or creating a successful blog. Come this 4th of September to the Northwest Literary Salon to meet other fellow artists and avid readers from across all age groups and all over the world – while enjoying the live music and locally catered food.
August is here. Long days, ice-cream, and chasing the sun… Don’t you feel in need of a little escapade? You could visit Jamrach’s Menagerie – but remember to be careful with the majestic tigers and komodo dragons. You could also time travel to 1754 to drop by the Kingdom of Buganda, where the Kintu family lives under the threat of a mysterious curse. And all without leaving Lancaster, because LitFest, the First Friday initiative and funds from Lancaster University will make all these adventures possible. Yvonne Battle-Felton and Naomi Kruger bring you exciting stories and the opportunity to listen to Joe Gardiner’s music, eat delicious locally catered food and share the eveningwith book loversfrom Lancaster and all over the world. ‘Writing makes me feel like a god of sorts,’ Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi commented in an interview, ‘I can create such lovely characters and kill them when I feel like.’ She left her home country – Uganda – to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Her PhD at Lancaster University resulted in the highly praised novel Kintu – winner of the Kwani Manuscript prize. Critics have said that it ‘immaculately stitches the past and the present’, blending Ugandan mythology with the current reality of the country.
Carol Birch has already published eleven novels – the last one, Jamrach’s Menagerie, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the London Book Awards. She is a versatile author who has tried several genres – social realism and historical fiction among others. Carol embraces opportunities to explore and experiment in her fiction. She asserts, ‘I can write about things I don’t know anything about, I can write as a man, in a different place, in a different time.’ Want an exotic holiday this summer? Why not get your tickets and join us at Lancaster Library on August 7th for this month’s North West Literary Salon? Whatever the weather we can promise you a warm atmosphere and the opportunity to escape into intriguing and incredible stories.