We had a fabulous evening at Eden (our nearby wonderful Italian cafe) with Clare Morrall. We had a full house, which was super for the first of these events, and the atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming, with Clare Wozniak (proprietor of Eden) and her husband, Richard, serving excellent wine, with olives and bread for a simple but sophisticated supper. We had representatives from several reading groups; our in-house Reading for Pleasure, of course, but also three from Ludlow's Modern Novel reading group, two from Clive (north of Shrewsbury) reading group, and a few from the local library reading group. Also, a few aspiring writers, and several customers and friends (even new ones!).
The format of the evening was that Clare read from her latest book, Natural Flights of the Human Mind, and then she and I were "In Conversation" for a while, followed by another reading, and then questions from the floor. Clare was an engaging and confident speaker, and kept us all amused and interested for a goood hour. She told us about being short-listed for the Booker in 2003 for her book Astonishing Splashes of Colour and how she had been in Devon when the news broke. Due to not being completely au fait with her mobile phone at that time, she missed an interview with The Times!
Clare chatted to pretty well everyone there, and happily signed books for another hour before heading back to Birmingham, leaving us all feeling that we had had a really excellent literary evening.
Huge thanks to Clare for travelling from Birmingham at the end of her working week, and to Jonathan Davidson of the West Midlands Readers Network for setting up the event.
Our next Literary Evening will be at Eden on Friday November 17th with Salley Vickers. As our reading group will have recently returned from Venice, there will be a strong Italian theme to the evening.