Newark Book Festival’s youngest published author

It’s not unusual to hear someone say “One day I’m going to write a book”…

But how often do you hear an eight-year old say “I’m going to write a book this year” and actually make good on the promise? Well, if you were listening to the show this morning, you’ll have heard the Girls Around Town talking to Harriet Scrase-Hollamby, who said and did just that!

Now 12 years old – and soon to turn 13, as she was quick to point out! – Harriet was sitting with her mum making up stories and writing even before she started school. In January 2013, she told her parents she was going to write her first book that year – the result was Granny, Mummy and Me : Trouble at the Barn and it wasn’t long before the sequel, The Rescue, followed.

Illustrated by Rebecca Fane, the stories feature the adventures of fun-loving Hattie and her Granny. A crime-solving double act who prove that the best heroes are ordinary people who find ways through extraordinary situations, they set out to show that no problem is too great when you stick together.

Sometimes the best children’s storytellers are children themselves – Harriet Hollamby is proof of this fact – Paul McGee

The youngest published author taking part in this year’s Newark Book Festival, Harriet has already started work on her third book – a stand-alone title aimed at an older, teenage audience – and when you reach the end of The Rescue, you’ll see she has big plans for the Granny, Mummy and Me series too, with four more adventures to come.

Her first two books are available to download on Amazon or you can email Harriet direct at hattieholl@gmail.com to buy them in paperback. And with a percentage of the proceeds on all sales donated to charity, you’ll be helping this enterprising young writer support local good causes too.

Dark tales for dark nights

Megan's bookIt’s back to books on this week’s show, when storyteller/novellist Megan Taylor and publisher/writer Ian Collinson of Weathervane Press join June, Tina and Sue in the studio…

Megan’s latest book – published by Weathervane Press – is a collection of short stories, The Woman Under the Ground.  Her writing is brooding and mysterious and her characters are often the victims of absence and loss: a child taken to a neglected museum by her forsaken father; a woman revisiting the scene of an ended affair; a couple taking a road trip to try to reconcile the death of their daughter…

From dark adult secrets to night visitors and the dangerous passions of small girls, these stories explore fractured relationships and moments of self revelation. Definitely not fluffy chick-lit, but if you enjoy dark stories, you’ll enjoy these.

Megan’s first novel, How We Were Lost, a dark coming-of-age story, was published by Flame Books in 2007 after placing second in the 2006 Yeovil Prize. Her second, The Dawning, is a domestic thriller set over the course of a single night, published by Weathervane Press in 2010. In her third novel, The Lives of Ghosts (2012), she plays with ideas of inheritance, motherhood and the haunting power of memories that refuse to be suppressed.

She has also been published in an anthology of short stories by Nottinghamshire writers, These Seven (published in July 2015 by Five Leaves Publications) and regularly runs creative writing workshops in and around Nottingham.

Ian is founder of independent publisher Weathervane Press, specialising in publishing contemporary adult literary fiction by local writers. He created Weathervane Press in March 2009 with the self-publication of his own novel, I Love Samuel Taylor, and published his second, Find Amy, on Kindle.

Ian also writes and performs poetry and regularly writes reviews and articles for literary magazines.

Join the Girls Around Town and their guests on air or online between 10am and 1pm on Saturday – in the meantime, you’ll find more about Megan’s work here and about Weathervane Press here