Welcome to the last Kate’s Diary of 2018. The year has flown by and I can’t believe the Festive Season is upon us already.

November is always a busy month and this year was no exception. I hosted a Murder Mystery evening at Halton Lea Library which everyone enjoyed, so much so that I’ve been invited to present another next year at Norton Priory Museum.

I visited Norton Priory (near Runcorn, just over the River Mersey from my native Liverpool) some years ago and I’ve been longing for an excuse to return ever since (something, alas, I just haven’t got round to) so I was particularly pleased to be asked. Before Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 1530s, Norton was a community of Augustinian Canons, priests who served the local community rather than lived as an enclosed order of monks. Norton is remarkably well preserved and is home to a rare (and rather large) statue of St Christopher, patron saint of travellers (probably to provide protection for those crossing the Mersey!) It’ll be lovely to present a Murder Mystery in such historic surroundings and I’m really looking forward to my visit next June. I’ll be putting the details on my website as soon as I have them.

As well as Halton I visited Ashton Library (Tameside). It’s always good to talk to readers about my books and I think it’s so important for authors to support libraries in this way if at all possible. Another event I enjoyed was my first Society of Authors meeting at Chethams in central Manchester. I’d heard all about Chethams (built in the fourteenth century to house priests from the neighbouring Manchester parish church – now the cathedral – and, since 1969, a famous specialist music school) but had never visited before, in spite of having been a student in Manchester. This shameful omission was put right when I (along with my fellow SoA members) was given a guided tour – the highlight being a visit to England’s very first public library. I looked rather different from the welcoming public libraries of today but it was great to see where the idea began.

Chethams edited

Talking of books, the 6th December welcomed another addition to my list of titles. For ages it never occurred to me to throw a party when a book was launched but when A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES came out friends persuaded me that its birth was a particular cause for celebration. So it was that I came to hold a launch party at a local award winning bookshop, attended by family, friends and readers. The party was such a success that when the second book in the Albert Lincoln trilogy was due to come out, I thought I’d host another party in the same location. I’m pleased to say that the publication of THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD, was properly celebrated and on the evening I spoke about how it came to be written as well as mentioning the unusual setting (a thinly disguised Alderley Edge – now home to premiership footballers but back in 1920 when the action takes place, the haunt of wealthy cotton manufacturers from nearby Manchester). After a reading from the book’s dramatic introduction, wine and nibble consumption was resumed and a great time was had by all.

KateLaunch2018 edited

I believe a lot of people are going to find THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD in their stockings this Christmas. I hope Santa brings you everything you wish for and I’d like to wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and a lovely and peaceful New Year.

See you in 2019