Thanks, Waverton

23 November 2011

A big thank-you to the lovely people of Waverton. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a village near Chester in the west of England, a stone’s throw from the Welsh border.
Every year the Waverton Good Read invites a handful of writers to speak to its members, and this year I’m genuinely honoured to have been picked. The good people of Waverton confine their choices to first novels published during the year – so there aren’t many famous names appearing there, but if you look back through the archives there are appearances by some writers who have gone on to do very interesting things.

 Wendy on the left and Gwen on the right. I'm the scruff in the middle.

Photo by Peter Goodhew.

Organised by Gwen Goodhew and Wendy Smedley, the Waverton Good Read sees a group of Waverton people reading the best part of sixty first novels during the year, although not everyone reads every book, and giving each book a brief review and a score. Then there’s a longlist of twenty that later gets whittled down to half a dozen before a winning entrant is picked and the lucky author becomes the proud winner of a Waverton Eddie.
Last year’s Wally winner was Helen Simonson for her novel Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and past winners also include Mark Haddon and Marina Lewycka. So the Waverton readers are shrewd judges of quality.
Not being quite sure what to expect, I was still delighted to be asked to join them for an evening. It was a real pleasure to speak to so many interested people with good questions to ask, who also clearly like my rotund heroine and enjoyed Frozen Out. So, thank you, Waverton. It’s a shame that as I’m no longer a debut novelist, they can’t ask me back.

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