Literary Day: Saturday 29 September

Festival 2018 includes a very special Literary Day taking place in St Georges Hall on Saturday 29th September.

Three top class authors and speakers bring their special talents to enthrall all book fans.

11.00 am Popular local writer and historian HEATHER FLACK will be speaking about "Completing the trilogy”:

For the last two years Fen Flack has kept us gripped not just by her Ironside narrative but by the demands of the physical production of her novels. Book 3 is complete! Edmund Ironside's grandchildren, Margaret and Edgar, face the conquering Normans in this final novel which weaves fact and fiction. Were the battles in the story mirrored by battles in the publishing? Come and find out.

2.00 pm  Tea and Cakes with best selling author GILL PAUL: Writing, Royals and Romance.

Gill is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. Her new novel, Another Woman’s Husband, is about links you may not have been aware of between Wallis Simpson, later Duchess of Windsor, and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Over the last century, we have been able to view images of our royal families splashed across the media, but that hasn’t necessarily brought us any closer to understanding what it feels like to be them. How do royals choose partners and make their personal relationships work within those ancient institutions, under a harsh spotlight? What is their understanding of a normal marriage? Is it anything like ours?

Historical fiction allows us to imagine ourselves in the shoes of princes and princesses, to eavesdrop on their private conversations and experience their emotions. In this talk, Gill Paul will explain how she researches and writes her historical novels and tries to get under the skin of royal characters. She will talk about the search for love of some key figures of the last century, from the daughters of Nicholas II, the last Romanov tsar, to Wallis Simpson, Princess Diana – and, more recently, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Gill Paul has written a non-fiction book entitled Royal Love Stories, as well as the novel about Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana, Another Woman’s Husband, and two novels about the Romanov royal family, The Secret Wife and The Lost Daughter. She was a historical commentator for the BBC World Service at the 2018 marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

8.00pm STUART MACONIE, the radio and television presenter, writer, journalist, and critic talks about his book "Long Road From Jarrow".

In October 2016, writers and broadcaster Stuart Maconie walked 300 miles from Jarrow to London retracing the famous Jarrow Crusade 80 years on, through a divided, complex country that echoes 1936 in many ways.

From choral evensong to curry house, from austerity to affluence, from Wearside to Westminster, join him on an entertaining, impassioned, enlightening journey through Britain then and now.

Stuart is a bestselling author of travel, culture and social history books as well as one of Britain’s best known radio presenters across many BBC networks.

He is currently a presenter on BBC Radio 6 Music, where he hosts an afternoon show five times a week (Monday–Friday, 1 pm – 4 pm), alongside Mark Radcliffe.

He also hosts BBC Radio 6 Music programmes The Freak Zone, on Sundays from 8 pm to 10 pm and The Freakier Zone, on Saturday night/Sunday mornings from midnight to 1 am.

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