Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Santa Montefiore Event

I was thrilled to hear that the lovely staff at my local Waterstones in Uxbridge had booked an evening with bestselling author Santa Montefiore. I immediately booked tickets for myself and my mum who has read a few of her books to attend – just £2 each with a Waterstones card! The event also gave me an incentive to read the beautifully titled House By The Sea which has been on my ‘to read’ shelf for a while! I really enjoyed Santa’s warm writing style which links together a passionate romance in 1960s Italy with a contemporary family struggling to keep their hotel business alive in present day Devon. There is beautiful scenery described in both locations and along with likable characters and a genuine mystery in how these two stories are intertwined, this book is a perfect summer read.

Santa was appearing at Waterstones Uxbridge on the publication day of her new novel The Beekeeper’s Daughter, which tells the story of a young girl growing up in the shadows of a large estate in 1930’s Dorset and a teenager’s relationship with an aspiring rock star in Nantucket during the 1960’s. Again these stories have a mysterious link and scenic settings and I particularly enjoyed reading about the age-old task of beekeeping.

I spent a really lovely evening at Waterstones, chatting to fans of the author about her work and other book recommendations over a glass of wine and Santa was a brilliant speaker, full of energy, enthusiasm, impressions and amusing stories. She was happy to lead an informal chat about The Beekeeper’s  Daughter and the process she has while writing a novel  and welcomed questions and conversation from her audience throughout. I left wanting to read all of her backlist (my mum purchased two more of her books while at the store!) and with an enthusiasm to give writing a try again after listening to all of Santa’s advice and the love for her work.

Once the official event was over, we were all able to spend some private time with Santa to get our books signed and to talk about the books without giving any spoilers away to others who may not have read them. She told me about her inspiration for Baffles in The House By The Sea and Rufus in The Beekeeper’s Daughter who I admitted to having a bit of a crush on! She was interested to hear what I thought of the book as I had received an advance copy and had stayed up late the night before finishing it!  It was just like chatting to a friend as Santa has a natural warmness and interest in people which really comes across in her books. I am really looking forward to her next novels which are going to be a trilogy based around the Irish War of Independence.

Waterstones Uxbridge have some more author events coming up soon, so if you are local, keep an eye on their twitter feed @waterstonesuxbr or pick up a leaflet in store.

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