27 May 2024
  • 27 May 2024

Abbey Books Summer Book Festival launches next month

on 29 May 2023 0

Abbey Books, celebrating its 40th birthday next year, is running a four-day Summer Book Festival from Thursday 8th to Sun 11th June

The event, aimed at promoting local talent, has a packed programme of five book launches/signings, three talks and two creative writing workshops.

Kicking off the event, shop owner and author Brian Hannan – with unprecedented access to one of John Byrne’s notebooks – will talk about how the playwright-artist’s most famous play The Slab Boys transferred to Broadway with a killer cast of Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn and Val Kilmer, and also about the author’s first stabs at what would become his television series Tutti Frutti.

“Until I started running Abbey Books,” commented Brian Hannan, “I had not realised what a rich seam of writing talent had emerged from Paisley. Our inaugural festival brings together a world-renowned playwright, critically acclaimed poets and bestselling novelists.”

The five book launches comprise: Graham Fulton signing copies of his new book The Renfrewshire Victoria Crosses; poet Chiara Kelly presenting her debut collection In My Words; and Helen Nathaniel-Fulton with Outside of Eden. Jeff Holmes has brought to light the full story of the infamous 1924 Paisley murder that took place at 16 Incle Street and its unusual aftermath which brought national focus to the town. Hawkhead resident Steven Veerapen will be signing copies of the latest book, Of Judgement Fallen, in his crime series which features groom Anthony Blanke joining forces with Sir Thomas More to solve a murder in the court of King Henry VIII.

The three Sunday writing workshops cover contemporary crime fiction, historical crime fiction and non-fiction. Celebrated best-selling Paisley crime author Caro Ramsay lets wannabe authors into the secrets of writing contemporary crime fiction. Caro who has written the successful Anderson and Costello series, culminating (so far) with The Silent Conversation (2021), has created a new series featuring DCI Christine Caplan who made her debut in The Devil Stone (2022).

Steven Veerapen could not be further away. Time-wise, that is. His novels are set in the sixteenth century Tudor period. He will be hosting a workshop on how to write historical novels, crime or otherwise. Most people don’t realise that 90 per cent of book sales are non-fiction. That’s the speciality of Brian Hannan who has published over a dozen non-fiction works including the Paisley at the Pictures series (1950, 1951 and 1952 covered so far) and The Glen Cinema Disaster.

Also on Sunday we are delighted to welcome Simon Hood, son of all-time bestselling Paisley novelist Evelyn Hood, who will be discussing his mother’s literary legacy as well as sharing exciting news about the discovery of new unpublished manuscripts.

Added Brian, “Special thanks should go to my sponsors, Mill Magazine, Copy & Print and Print Studio, and a special shout-out to Georgina McGhie who helped with the online elements.”

The launches/signings are free – just turn up on the day – but bear in mind these are signings rather than talks, though you can obviously chat to the author as he/she is signing. If you can’t attend the signing but would like a signed book, this can be arranged

Abbey Books Summer Book Festival takes place from Thursday 8th to Sun 11th June. Talks and Writing Workshops cost £10 (plus booking fee) from Eventbrite.

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