The final preparations are being made for Wirral Bookfest, a celebration of all things literary in NW England. I’ll be the opening speaker on the afternoon of Saturday October 10th talking about ‘Fire and Ice – the Nazis’ scorched earth campaign in Norway.’
I’ll be telling stories about what happened in 1944 in northern Norway, the people that are in the book and the journey I made across the Arctic gathering the stories from people who were either there or who have lived with the consequences of the destruction and forced evacuation of an entire region.
I’ll be showing slides and answering questions as well as signing copies of ‘Fire and Ice’.
The venue has now been confirmed as Moreton Library in Pasture Road, Moreton
Wirral, CH46 8SA starting at 2.30pm. There’s a map here: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Moreton+Libraryfirstname.lastname@example.org,-3.1117981,14z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x487b28849466f26d:0x3fd621d85c5f3db5
Wirral Bookfest is a brilliant week-long literary gathering organised by Wirral Council featuring national and local writers, poets and historians who will be giving talks, appearing at drop-in sessions and signing books.
The big ‘Bookfest’ name this year is Brian Patten, one of the trio of Liverpool Poets who published ‘The Mersey Sound,’ considered one of the most significant poetry anthologies of the 20th century. The three – Brian Patten, Roger McGough and Adrian Henri – changed perceptions of what modern poetry could do and what it should be about, so this is a rare opportunity to hear Brian talk about his work.
The Wirral is also a beautiful part of the country, so I’ll be getting in my car early to walk along the coast at Hoylake and if the tides are right, walk the causeway to Hilbre Island. There’s nothing like a bit of sea air on a Saturday morning….
The following Saturday, October 17th I’m in my home town, Manchester, for a 12 noon start as guest speaker at the Manchester and Liverpool Historical Association’s AGM.
This will be held at The Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street in Manchester city centre. This historic building is directly behind the Central Library on St. Peter’s Square and visible from the Midland Hotel.
There’ll be stories, slides and signings, so be there if you can. If you’d like a copy of the book and can’t get there, I have vouchers for a discount price with The History Press.
The following week I’m in the United States and I’m working now on arranging some guest events with Norwegian-American Associations and Sons of Norway Lodges on the East Coast. I’ll be in New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
I have a firm date in the diary though that I’m looking forward to very much. I will give a talk on the evening of Friday October 30th at the Sons of Norway Lodge in Fairfax, just outside Washington DC. More details including a map nearer the time, but it’s a 7pm start with the talk beginning at 8pm.
If any readers in the US would like vouchers for a 30% discount code from my American publisher, please email me through my contact form or via Facebook. The same goes for UK readers.
I hope to see you on the road….
‘Fire and Ice’ tells stories from the Nazi scorched earth retreat from northern Norway in 1944. Virtually everything was destroyed to stop the Red Army pursuing the retreating Germans. Bridges, harbours, towns and houses were blown up and set on fire and fifty thousand people were forcibly evacuated. Seventy years later, the author crosses the Arctic gathering dramatic stories of this terrible time: of relentless bombing, sudden death and survival in sub-zero temperatures.