Well, this is a slightly unusual event write-up for me. I’m so used to being in the audience scribbling away in my little notebook. But this time was different. I had the great privilege of interviewing William Ryan and Susi Holliday about their latest books – A House of Ghosts and The Lingering. West Barnes Library is quite small but we had 30 people in the audience which is fantastic for a first event. I say first, because I’m hoping to do more in conjunction with the Friends of West Barnes Library. The volunteers are great and I simply couldn’t have done this without their help. A special thank you to Sarah and Theresa.
I’d love to be able to tell you everything that was said but a few highlights were William and Susi each talking about haunted houses they’ve lived in. Neither of them saw the ghosts but others had. In particular, a builder who’d been working at Susi’s house asked where her daughter was. ‘But I don’t have a daughter,’ was Susi’s reply. ‘Yes, you do. The little girl who was colouring under the table.’ Eek! Susi and her husband moved soon after. As a child, William was the only person in his house who hadn’t seen the ghost but the rest of his family had.
The Lingering is set in a commune and Susi lived in one for a week to experience what it’s truly like. A House of Ghosts is set in 1917 and William has managed to capture the language by reading lots of books from that period, including Georgette Heyer which influenced the romantic thread in his novel.
If you’ve read my write-ups of events before you’ll know that I’m pretty rubbish at taking photos. So I left this task to my daughter who is much better than me! We deliberately dimmed the main lights and used fairy lights to create an intimate and spooky feel for the event. So she’s done her best with low light levels and my phone!
Events coming up – organised by the Friends of West Barnes Library, an afternoon with local author Pippa Beecheno on Saturday 10th November at 2.30pm. £1 entry.
I’m back at the library on Monday 28th January at 7.30pm with Rod Reynolds and Amer Anwar talking about US Noir vs UK Noir. More details in the New Year.
Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone who came, the volunteers, and in particular, William and Susi who made my first experience of interviewing so easy.