Sunday 20 October 2013

How To Enjoy Your Book Launch: Paulie's Web

At lasr Paulie's Web was launched on Wednesday. It was all over - as my mother would say - 'like a wedding.'

Avril and I discussing
 finishing touches

Weeks of discussion, preparation, choosing the venue, inviting the special ones, writing the newspaper article, deciding on the programme, making sure there were plenty of books...

Anne Dover reading a chapter from
Paulie's Web, Superb.
The star of the evening.
  I think she enjoyed it
The art gallery in Bishop Auckland Town Hall was beautifully set out by Janet Strong and her staff at the library. There was wine and a typical Bishop Auckland Town Hall welcome. The books were beautifully displayed, making the most of the lovely cover of Paulie's Web

The occasion was chaired by Avril Joy, now a writer herself , and for a long time Head of Learning and Skills in the prison that inspired Paulie's Web, Special guests Mike Kirby ex governor of the same prison, special guest actress Anne Dover who records audio books for Isis and Soundings. Manning the books table was Gillian Wales who keeps us in order at  Room to Write. And me.

Ex governor Mike Kirby putting
the book into its national context.
He made plain his view that a society
may be judged by the way it treats
its prisoners.
He seemed to enjoy it

Avril, Anne and I enjoyed it
In the audience of over eighty people were readers and writers of all description. There were teachers, librarians,  journalists, prison officers and managers. My lovely Debora and Sean came from London.  There was Charlie the dynamic Reader in Residence and HMP Low Newton, and Sheila the present Writer in Residence there. There was my friend Terry from Bishop FM who squeezed in an interview for Bishop FM with our guest of honour Anne Dover. There were old friends from former lives and new friends from present ventures. There were strangers whom I was delighted to see: perhaps some women who had been in that prison those years ago when Paulie was beginning to live in my imagination.

Our whole evening - as is the book (scroll down here) -was dedicated to promoting  some kind of understanding of women who end up in prison and recognising the importance of seeing them as unique human beings rather than reductive stereotypes: as our sister, our cousin, our daughter or our mother..

I think we enjoyed it

I think they enjoyed it.

Reader in Residence, Charlie Darby Villis
and Writer in Residence Sheila Mulhern
talk to Glyn Wales who helped
Gillian with the books. Lots of books sold at this point!

I quite enjoyed it myself...


  1. It looks like a great time was had by all.

  2. So it was, Al. Just recovering.wx

  3. And I enjoyed it too; an excellent evening.
    "Paulie's Web" is such a gripping novel that I read it in 24 hours and am now recommending
    it to everybody.

    1. Thank you Eileen, It was great to have you there. I am pleased that Paulie's Web is gripping you,,, wx



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