Wednesday 19 February 2020: ‘Ghostland’ in the Sailors’ Reading Room
Sailors’ Reading Room, Southwold, IP18 6EL. 17.00
Listen to me talk about some of the stories and writers covered in Ghostland. The haunted Suffolk coast – which features in M. R. James’s ‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’ and ‘A Warning to the Curious’ – will provide the backdrop to the event. The venue is Southwold’s atmospheric Sailors’ Reading Room, a building that also features in W. G. Sebald’s strange, melancholic walking tour of East Anglia, The Rings of Saturn, which also features in my book. Afterwards there will be a chance to purchase copies of Ghostland and have them signed.
Tickets: £6.00 (includes £3.00 off a copy of Ghostland on the night, and a glass of wine). Tickets available in person in advance from Southwold Books, or call to reserve on 01502 722873. Please book early as capacity in the Reading Room is limited.
Tuesday 24 March. Lost Hearts – an M. R. James evening to mark Abney Day
Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge, CB2 1TY. 18.30 to 20.00
24th March is Abney Day: the date of the death of the evil protagonist of M. R. James’s ‘Lost Hearts’ – and, folk horror fans, Heffers has quite the evening lined up for you.
‘Lost Hearts’ was originally published in 1895 and televised by the BBC in 1973 as part of their much-loved strand, ‘A Ghost Story for Christmas’. I’m delighted to be taking part in this event that kicks off with a performance of ‘Lost Hearts’ with the wonderful Nunkie Theatre’s Robert Lloyd Parry as M. R. James. This will be followed by a talk from me, in which I will talk about my obsession with the tale, its background and its setting (the short story was his introduction to the work of M. R. James, who features as a key figure in Ghostland). As a very special treat, we will also be joined by Christopher Hammond, who played the razor-nailed ghost boy in the classic BBC adaptation. I’ll interview him about his childhood experiences on the set of Lawrence Gordon Clark’s terrifying film – excitingly, this is the first time Christopher has done an event about Lost Hearts and he is even hoping to bring original props from the production (though, sadly, not a hurry gurdy)…
Readings/Book Groups etc.
If you’d like to book me to do a talk/reading at an event such as a literary festival, or to speak to a book group/club, please contact me using the form on this website. For larger and commercial events please contact my agent Anna Power at Johnson & Alcock.
Saturday 19 October 2019: Usborne World of the Unknown – Ghosts
A great evening in a haunted Midlands hotel (Bosworth Hall), where I chaired a panel event about the seminal 1977 children’s book from my youth that had a (dismembered) hand in my love of ghosts and the supernatural… Thanks to Usborne Books for inviting me and Haunted Magazine for putting me up.
Friday 18 October 2019: Fear in the Fens
The Space Upstairs, above Downham Market Library. Evening (time tbc)
Wednesday 16 October 2019: Ghostland Book Launch
The Book Hive, Norwich. 18.30 for 19.00.
A great night in this brilliant independent bookshop.
Nature Matters 2016: In Touch with the Wild
I was delighted to have been invited to be one of the speakers at the prestigious annual New Networks for Nature event, which took place in Cambridge in association with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative from 22–24 September. I was the opening speaker on the morning of Friday 23 September, and was honoured to be on the same programme as Sir David Attenborough!