Berwickshire is a hot bed of literary talent and an event being held next Friday will give you the opportunity to get closer to some of the faces behind the words.
‘Meet The Authors’, being held in Gavinton village hall on Friday, May 2, has been organised by Berwickshire High Parent Council to raise funds for the school and is uniting romantic novelist Lisa J Hobman, Duns crime writer Janet O’Kane, playwright and poet Arthur Parsons from Coldstream and Gavinton poet and psychological thriller author Max Hardy.
The quartet will all read excerpts of their work and take part in a question and answer session with their audience.
Organiser Karen Lerpiniere said as well as giving people the chance to meet the authors, it could also pave the way for would-be writers in the area to put pen to paper.
“I myself have found myself jotting down things I’ve seen or heard in a notebook and thought that one day I’ll maybe do something with them- the difference is that these guys have gone and done it.”
Little more than a year ago Lisa still hadn’t published her first book but now she’s published three and was recently nominated for atop romantic fiction award.
But ever modest, Lisa still just sees herself as a Yorkshire lass who moved to the Borders and decided to give writing a bash.
“It really hit home for me when I attended the awards do in London.
“I was stood next do and in the same category as one of my idols Lisa Jewell.
“I’ve read all her books and she was a massive inspiration to me. She is amazing whereas to me I’m just Lisa . It was a real star struck moment- I managed to get a photo with her but no autograph- I think that might have been too fan-girly!”
When she’s not writing gripping crime stories like ‘No Stranger to Death’. Janet can be found working in BAVS charity shop but even there she comes into contact with avid readers.
“This woman came into the shop and asked if she could talk to me about my book.
“ I was thrilled. It’s s very strange for me to think that characters that were in my head are now in other people’s heads.
“Despite the fact I write some grisly tales I am a perfectly normal person who can normally be found walking dogs or looking after chickens- I’m nothing special.”
Max balances his passion for writing with a day job as an IT manager which also involves a 90 minute commute to and from Newcastle every day.
But like Lisa, Janet and Arthur, he said when you’ve got a passion for something you make time.
“Even on a lunchbreak I can find myself writing down 500-1,000 words worth of ideas,” he explained.
“The most fulfilling experience I’ve had so far is probably when a woman asked if she could read ‘Walk With Me’, a poem I wrote about my daughters wedding to her husband who was dying of cancer.
“She said it summed up her situation perfectly. It was strange but so rewarding to hear that someone connect so strongly with your words.
Arthur is currently working on a radio play but whilst he does that a local illustrator has been busy transforming his words into art for an up and coming exhibition at Coldstream Gallery. Writing can be a very lonely art but when your words can provoke such a reaction from others it makes it so worthwhile.”