Great evening for the Durham Book Festival last night in the exquisite Jubilee Room at Bowes museum. I was chairing the event for Claire Malcolm director of the festival.
Adele Parks – writer of bestselling novels reflecting the lives of women today was
interesting, funny and shared many insights into the disciplines of writing a novel each year that will sell massively at home and abroad. She read from her new novel About Last Night – about the friendship between two women and the lengths they will go to to support each other through thirty years.
We talked a bit about the reductive nature of genre labelling such as chick-lit. As Adele said, at thirty five years old, her characters so were hardly chicks . But as she also said if such labelling made her novels seem accessible to people who might not have picked up what is a very well written novel, she is happy. Her sensitivity to this is informed by the fact that she works with charities concerned with enhancing basic literacy across the nation.
She also had some good points to make about how women writers were more swiftly pigeonholed than male writers who also write about domestic dilemmas and issues of relationships.
It is always a sign of a good event when the audience finds it hard to leave and this was the case last night.
Thank you Adele for a great evening.
I would recommend About Last Night as a good read. I particularly liked the character called Pip and original, quite flawed character who is so very engaging.
Looking forward now to other Durham Book Festival