Anna Raverat to discuss debut novel at Bell Stories
June 15, 2012
One of the country's hottest new authors will be talking about her debut novel at a literary festival on Sunday.
Anna Raverat will be one of a handful of authors discussing their works at Bell Stories, a celebration of 40 years of publishing house Picador.
The Cambridge-born writer, whose novel Signs of Life made the Waterstones’ list of recommended debut novels of 2012, is looking forward to chatting to readers about her work at The Olde Bell in Hurley on Sunday.
“It’s going to be lovely,” says “I have heard great things about The Olde Bell. It seems very luxurious and glamorous.”
Anna has just returned from another literary festival in Stoke Newington.
“I did a literary death match at Stoke Newington,” she laughs. “It was a read-off with another author, sort of fun and light-hearted.
“It’s really great to do these events because you realise the book has a life of its own, outside of your kitchen, and it’s really interesting to hear people’s different reactions and responses to it.”
At the festival, Anna will be reading from Signs of Life, which she wrote on-and-off for around 14 years while working full-time and raising her three children.
In the novel, Rachel is struggling to put the pieces of her past back together after an affair 10 years ago which spiralled out of control and left her life in shreds.
As she writes at her window, she tries to piece her memories and recollections together but there is something else troubling her, something which happened to her lover.
“I had the idea a really long time ago,” explains Anna. “I had this story of an office romance that goes badly wrong and I heard some real life stories that had happened to people which I thought were interesting and it just sort of came together.”
Although Anna says she had a couple of false starts – “I wrote half and it was terrible, and then I wrote another half and that was pretty bad so I threw them in the bin” – and wrote in secret for a year, she gradually saw her story take shape.
“It’s a real sense of relief,” she says. “And it’s more the satisfaction that comes from it – thinking, well just feeling, that I have really written the book I wanted to write.”
Anna will be discussing the themes and ideas behind the book at the literary festival.
The Bell Stories sessions will run from 11am to 6pm and guests can pre-order champagne picnics and Jacobs wool blankets to enjoy in the picturesque grounds and wooded meadows. The Old Bell dining room will serve a menu of British classics using seasonal and local produce, 50 per cent of which is grown on the premises.
- Bell Stories will run at The Olde Bell in High Street, Hurley, on Sunday. Tickets for the event are between £5 and £10 and can be bought from The Olde Bell reception.
Rooms are available and prices start at £185. For more information call (01628) 825 881 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.