Novels and Nibbles event celebrates Merseyside’s growing band of indie authors

A group of published writers from across Merseyside and beyond are coming together for a night of celebration and to fly the flag for independent authors.

The Novels and Nibbles event on June 12 will be a chance for people to meet five different authors, hear about their work and latest book projects.

The event will be held at Lifestyle Collective on Allerton Road, Liverpool, at 6.30pm and will include bubbles and nibbles.

In attendance will be Estelle Maher, author of ‘Grace and the Ghost’ and winner of Best Spiritual Fiction in The Soul and Spirit Book Awards 2018; Lynn Robinson, author of spiritual book ‘A Light to Guide Us Home’; Matthew Drzymala, author of ‘The Fantastical Gregory Shortbread’ and ‘The Bumpkinton Tales’; Sally-Anne-Tapia- Bowes, writer of  both children’s and adult fiction and Bob Stone, who also writes for children and young adults.

As well as talking about their books, the authors will answer questions from the audience and Mr Stone, owner of Write Blend bookshop in Waterloo, will be giving an exclusive reading of his new book ‘Missing Beat’.

The event has been organised to coincide with Indie Author Week UK (June 9 to June 16) which encourages bookshops, libraries, schools, businesses and other groups and organisations to celebrate the work of indie authors right across the UK.

Founded by independent publisher Team Author UK, the week-long event provides an opportunity for the spotlight to be shined on the creative work of self-published writers.

Mrs Maher, who lives on the Wirral, said: “This event is all about flying the flag for indie authors and giving us an opportunity to share our books and work with the public. Over recent years publishing has seen lots of changes and there are now many ways now for writers to get their work seen by the world.

“But as an indie author it can be hard work getting known as we don’t have the benefit of a big publishing agency behind us and of course their huge marketing budget.”

Mrs Robinson, also based on the Wirral, said: “We very much have to operate as a small business so events like these are great for gaining local exposure and there are similar events happening all over the UK to celebrate Indie Author Week UK, which is fantastic.”

Liverpool-based writer Mr Drzymala, pointed out that the event would also be a great opportunity for other local writers looking to self-publish to speak to authors who have been through the process.

He said: “We will be taking questions from the audience and we will be happy to talk about our books, what it’s like to be a writer, our highs and lows and also anything anyone might like to ask about our own experiences of self-publishing.”

Mrs Tapia-Bowes from Hightown, who has published several children’s picture books including ‘The Star that Lost its Sparkle’ and ‘The Tiger that Slept on the Stairs, is currently working on the final book in her crime thriller trilogy.

She said: “It can sometimes be a bit lonely working as a writer but Indie Author UK Week is bringing several of us together and helping to create a community of writers which is really important. I’m hoping the event will give me the inspiration I need to complete my latest book.”

Mr Stone, who has operated Write Blend bookshop for three years, has built up a strong reputation for supporting Liverpool’s indie authors, hosting book launch events and also dedicating shelf space in the shop to a range of indie author books.

He said: “Self-publishing has become a very popular method for creative writers to further their professional career. Indie authors bring to the table a varied mix of books covering a range of topics and often when readers are looking for something a bit different and unique they will find what they are looking for on the indie-author shelf.

“It’s really important for all independent bookshops to start embracing the work of indie authors – they can bring so much variety.”

Jude Lennon, creative director for Team Author UK and Liverpool-based children’s author, said it was fabulous to see local business owners such as Rachel Jesse from Lifestyle Collective supporting local authors.

She said: “The aim of Indie Author Week is to get businesses, schools, libraries and other organisations to shine a light on the work of independent authors so we are very grateful to Rachel for showing her support.”

Rachel added: “It’s great to be working with Indie  Author Week UK to promote local writers. As a local business, it feels great to be involved. Our space is used for many events including a book club so it seemed fitting to support local authors.”

Tickets for the Novels and Nibbles event are priced £6 and are available in advance through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/novels-and-nibbles-tickets-44937108100?aff=es2#ticketsFor more details about Indie Author Week UK visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IndieAuthorWeekUK/.

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