Here's To The National Year of Reading

This is the National Year of Reading of which I as an author and reader am a great supporter. So I thought I'd take a moment to look back at the events I've done this year and look forward to those yet to come.

My thriller, In Cold Daylight, was shortlisted for the World Book Day Prize in February and in March on World Book Day I gave two talks: one to the sixth form of a local school and the other to readers at Portsmouth Library.

I've undertaken a marathon book signing event on the Wightlink Ferry, back and forwards from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight all day - and yes it was a calm day, thankfully. I've spoken at libraries in Dorset, Sussex and Hampshire and taken part in a great murder mystery evening organised by Portsmouth Library in July.

I've supported Independent Bookseller's Week with fellow authors Kate Mosse and Dee Williams. I've ran a Writing Fiction Workshop at Sinah Warren holiday complex and given talks to retirement associations, business groups, and reading groups.

I've also been privileged to present the prizes to students attending an adult literacy course and to those learning English as a second language. So all in all not bad going.

There are more library talks to come and I have a couple of conferences and a Literary Festival lined up for the autumn with, hopefully, more events around the Christmas. Wherever I go I meet people who have read and enjoyed my novels, which is really heart-warming, motivating and encouraging. And I've met new readers who have decided to try my crime and thriller novels for the first time. Thank you.

I am particularly pleased that my novels appeal to both men and women, and with people leading such busy lives it is difficult, I know, for many to find the time to read, often only doing so on holiday. That's fine. To me reading is a pleasure, and an escape. I can't imagine a day without reading and that in main is thanks to discovering my lovely little library in Portsmouth as a child. To me it doesn't matter what people read as long as they are reading and enjoying it.

Reading can help people in all walks of life by stimulating creativity, clearing the mind and helping with problem-solving skills. It can make us laugh, cry and curse. It can bring comfort. It can educate, enthrall and entertain. And all for so little money. For FREE even if you join your local library. So here's to reading in the National Year of Reading. And thanks to all my readers and to those hopefully yet to come.


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