A bit of Public Speaking

Me with my book, Killing Time in Cambridge with the Grasshopper Chronophage at Corpus Christi College Cambridge
Me with my book, Killing Time in Cambridge with the Grasshopper Chronophage at Corpus Christi College Cambridge

I was given the opportunity to talk about writing and my novel twice during this last week. On Tuesday I was invited to speak at a local Women’s Institute meeting and on Thursday at The August Book Bank event at Huntingdon’s Commemoration Hall.

I haven’t spoken in public for a very long time and then it was only once. I can’t even remember what the talk was about.

It was very kind of both the Whittlesey Women’s Institute (W I) and Niche Comics and Books in Huntingdon to invite me.

I was able to tell the attentive W I audience about the tremendous help and collaborative effort of the u3a Whittlesey Wordsmiths, to which I belong. The group encourages its members to write, help hone their skills and see their work in print and published. It is the mutual support and collaboration that has helped all of us within the group to succeed, including me.

The W I audience was engaging and their questions were interesting.

Best-selling author Emma Rous with her first novel The Au Pair

At, Huntingdon I was invited to give a short talk to an audience which included the best-selling author Emma Rous, about my book Killing Time in Cambridge. I was invited to read a well-received short extract. After other members of the audience shared experiences of their recent reading the local best-selling author, Emma Rous spoke to us about her writing. She spoke about the decision to give up her profession as a vet to pursue her writing career. By coincidence we both worked at Ramsey, Emma leaving her job as a vet and me retiring in the same year.

It was an interesting talk, Emma gave us insights into the world of professional publishing, explaining the methods and processes of a major publishing house. The changes in titles and cover designs to suit different markets and countries were an eye-opener. The examples on display were remarkable both in variety and concept. The thinking behind the different designs was prompted by serious market research and knowledge of different markets. She also mentioned the willingness of other authors to help and support one another, something even with my limited experience I have found to be the case.

When I spoke to Emma afterwards she told me she enjoyed the piece from my book that I had read aloud to the audience.

We share a love of the Fen country, in particular the skies.

I enjoyed both meetings, particularly the supportive interaction from both audiences.

Thank you Whittlesey Women’s Institute and Niche Books and Comics for the opportunity to share my story.

At the Commemoration Hall with Emma Rous

To read more about Emma Rous visit: http://www.emmarous.com/

For Niche Comics and Books, bookshop visit: http://www.nichecomics.co.uk

15 responses to this post.

  1. Well done! Brave of you…


  2. It was a pleasure to meet you, Philip, and to hear you read from Killing Time in Cambridge. A thoroughly enjoyable evening all round!


    • Thank you, Emma, It was great to meet you too, I admire your courage in pursuing a writing career and am pleased that it has worked so well for you.
      Thank you too for your kind words and encouragement.
      I enjoyed the evening too.


  3. Posted by Irene Henson on August 7, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    So pleased for you Philip, growing in recognition is a real boost for you and richly deserved x


  4. Posted by Jane on August 7, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    Well done Phil, I’m sure you did brilliantly. Thanks too for the Wordsmiths plug, greatly appreciated.


  5. That was a big; Emma giving up her career to become a writer!
    Interesting talk you had with her Phil. Things we always consider when publishing for the first time.


    • That was a big *move* is what I meant. 🙂


      • It is a real pleasure to talk to authors. It was a very brave move on Emma’s part. Another author I talk to from time to time Alison Bruce continues to work, currently as a university lecturer. She too is a lovely lady. Most authors that I have spoken too are encouraging and generous with their advice. Another author local to me is Eva Jordan, she too is very supportive and helpful. She is an excellent writer and I am looking forward to her next book due out in the autumn with great anticipation.

  6. What a wonderful opportunity for you Phil. The more I get to know all of you, the greater appreciation I have for your writing group. They support each other at every step along the way. Did you all start out knowing each other?


    • We didn’t know each other until we joined the writing group, Marsha.
      When I joined the group there were just two other members, Wendy and another lady whose name I can’t remember she left shortly afterwards, and from then on we gradually grew as new members joined. In 2018 the group published its first collection of short stories and poems, Where the Wild Winds Blow.
      Publishing this book boosted our members’ confidence and prompted some of them to publish their own books, me included.
      Another member found an agent and has had two books published.
      Since then we have published three more collections and another one “Three Sheets to the Wind”, is to be published next month.


  7. So am I, Marsha.


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