A group of four Yorkshire-based novelists, mostly newly published, got together for an evening of readings, chat and a short dramatization at the Crowd of Favours pub off Kirkgate on Thursday 16th May.
PJ (Philip) Whiteley hosted the event, introducing younger writers Eli Allison, Robert Welbourn and Claire Patel-Campbell. Each of the authors writes in different genres, but some of the binding themes that emerged in the talks and discussions included writing in a style you are passionate about, and finding your own individual voice.
Eli described how she loves to create dystopian worlds and edgy characters, as she described the female lead character, Onion, of her debut novel Sour Fruit.
Robert Welbourn is influenced by modern North American authors, especially Bret Easton Ellis. His debut, Ideal Angels, written at a fast pace in the present tense, deploys the style for a contemporary novel set in Leeds featuring a seemingly doomed love affair.
Claire Patel-Campbell spoke in a beautifully correct New England accent, reading from her crime novel Abernathy, set in a small town in the USA.
Philip Whiteley, who writes fiction as PJ Whiteley, gave a reading from his Leeds-themed book Marching on Together, published 2017 with a cover quote by Captain Corelli author Louis de Bernières. His third novel, the Leeds-based drama A Love of Two Halves, is due out in October. Two actors, Sophie Joelle and James Sidgwick, performed a dramatization of an excerpt of dialogue from the book during the evening.
The four, members of an informal grouping known as Northern Writers, hope to hold further events in Leeds. Three of them are published with Unbound, the London-based literary publisher that employs a crowdfunding model, and has published books by Kate Mosse, Tibor Fischer, Andy Hamilton, Terry Jones and many others.
For further information on each author:
Feature photograph by Marie Grob. Left to right: Claire Patel-Campbell, Robert Welbourn, Philip Whiteley and Eli Allison.