On Friday, 4th November 2016, I took part in my first public reading. The event was organised by Novel London, a brilliant idea set up by Safeena Chaudhry, where writers read aloud the first chapter of their novels, and book lovers sit back with a glass of wine and soak them up. The events are held all over London, in various picturesque bookshops, and the latest one – the 13th Novel London evening – was held in the Waterstones Covent Garden, a lovely and warm bookshop hidden in Garrick Street, just a minute away from Leicester Square.
The theme of our evening was debut writers with international backgrounds. The Woman Behind the Waterfall is set in Ukraine, where I lived for many years. The writer Amy Kitcher was reading from Blood Will Tell, in her lovely Welsh accent. Mari Reiza, originally from Madrid, was reading from her novel Marmotte’s Journey.
The readings were introduced by another writer, Stephen Marriott, author of Candyfloss Guitar. And even the organiser, Safeena Chaudhry, is a writer – her novel, Companions of Clay, was published in 2015.
Another great element of Novel London is that the readings are filmed and available for anyone to watch after the event.
Reading to a full house
Behind the camera (photo and camera work by Lee Cooper)
With wonderful writers Amy Kitcher and Mari Reiza
A Waterstones dream come true!
Video recordings from this event will be available soon from the Novel London website. In the meantime, go and watch some of the writers from past events reading their work. It’s a wonderful thing!