Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Girl Who Lived on Air - and Stephen Wade

By the time you read this I'll be on my way to  Gwyl Lyfrau Penfro, Book Festival  where my husband is talking about his new book The Girl Who Lived On Air. To celebrate this  - and to mark the fact that this has been chosen to be the Book of The Month in  Wales, I asked  the author - ie 'im indoors aka The Babe Magnet - to come and visit my blog and tell you a bit about his book - and the future titles he has coming up.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself as a writer?
I started as a poet, over forty years ago, as I had a vision of the writer as a suffering, isolated dreamer. Reality gradually crept in, and around 1998 I took more interest in non-fiction narrative.

And something about your latest book The Girl Who Lived on Air . What interested you about this story and made you decide to write it?
My imagination seized on this story about three years ago, when I read Sian Busby’s book, The Wonderful Little Girl. I was fascinated in the will to create a miracle in a time when the rational discipline of new sciences was rising in mid-Victorian Britain. Here was a young girl who was apparently, so some churchmen claimed, starving yet not emaciated, and still managing to live, albeit bed-ridden. I did what I always do – followed my enthusiasm – and worked to find some kind of explanation of what grew to be a national sensation in 1869.

Will you be doing any publicity in Wales to mark the publication of this book?
Yes, I’m giving a talk at the Gwyl Lyfrau Penfro, near Cardigan, this coming Sunday, 14th
September. I’ll be talking about the various interpretations of the story, and about the Victorian crisis of belief.

What other books do you have coming out – is there anything new coming up this year?
Scheduled for this month, although it has been delayed, is Creative Writing and the Art of Self-Discovery from Thames River Press. This is a new edition of my earlier Write Yourself a
New Life. My other new book out now is my first fictional work apart from short stories: a Victorian detective ‘cosy crime’ called A Thief in the Night  (The Mystery Press). Also, as I write this I have just completed a collection of short stories called Tales of Uncle Albert, which is being published by the Priory Press. It’s slightly in the Gervase Phinn genre – what I call ‘daft Yorkshire’ People with a long memory or very wide reading may recall Henry Livings’ Pennine Tales, which is much closer to the style I wanted.

And what do you plan for future books after that?
I’m half-way through my first crime novel, set in Cardiff in 1920 and called The Cage. It started when I researched Great War conscientious objectors. I’m loving the detective I’ve created, Ed Galber, Jewish ex-boxer and private eye!
On the non-fiction side, I’m working on Grimsby in the Great War and on The Justice Women, both for Pen and Sword books. The latter tells the social history of women barristers, prison officers and police constables through history in Britain. Much of the book will be biography, and my personal hero/heroine is Rose Heilbron, who was the first KC barrister, and who was the first woman judge to sit at the Old Bailey. She died in 2005.

Stephen Wade is also teaching the upcoming  Relax and Write   courses
 Write About your Life - build your anecdotes into memoirs/short stories
Weetwood Hall LEEDS 24 - 26 October 2014
Write the Past

Weetwood Hall Leeds 25 - 27 September 2015


watermansara1 said...

Obviously 'I'm indoors aka the babe magnet' spends a lot of time writing. That is a pretty impressive list of 'just finished' and "works in progress". Will Mr \wade be bringing some of his new books to Leeds ?

Sally Trueman

Kate Walker said...

He certainly will, Sally. Looking forward to seeing you there


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