Next month sees the return of Scarborough’s Books by the Beach literature festival. Sue Wilkinson takes a look at some of the highlights.
Bestselling authors Louise Doughty, Salley Vickers, Joanna Trollope, Adele Parks and Mark Billingham blaze a a trail to Books by the Beach in Scarborough next month.
They will be joined by celebrity Vicky Pattison, actresses Denise Welch, Dame Harriet Walter and former MP Alan Johnson.
Also in the line-up is a heart surgeon, military historian, ‘rowing mums’ and screenwriter Daisy Goodwin. The festival will run at various venues from April 26 to May 1. The first guest is novelist Joanna Trollope.
“I’m thrilled by the mix of fact and fiction and feel we’ve expanded our programme to include some inspiring figures,” says Scarborough librarian Heather French, who with writer and critic Peter Guttridge, is codirector of the event.
“I’m honoured to bring Dr
Steve Westaby, pioneering heart surgeon, to Scarborough with his new book Fragile Lives in which he tells stories of life and death on the operating table.
“We’re also playing host to President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Sir Simon Wessely who’ll be sharing the stage with historian Taylor Downing and former soldier Allan Mallinson to discuss Shellshock – From The Somme to Syria.”
Forensics also feature when crime scene pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton joins Mark Billingham to discuss suspicious death in real life and literature.
Screenwriting features this year with a double dose of Daisy Goodwin – creator of ITV’s Victoria. On Wednesday, April
26, Daisy will be talking about the series. Later that afternoon she will be hosting a Victorian tea party at Wykeham Abbey old kitchen. There’s a Salley Vickers literary lunch date on Friday April 28 at the Crescent Hotel, when the author will be speaking about her new novel Cousins.
Thriller writers Louise Doughty and Erin Kelly are also on the programme. Doughty’s Apple Tree Yard was adapted for the BBC and screened earlier this year. Erin Kelly’s The Poison Tree was a TV series in 2013.
The revolutionary side of Jane Austen is revealed when Helena Kelly discusses her book Jane Austen, The Secret Radical.
The Theatre in the Round welcomes Dame Harriet Walter who will be talking about playing Shakespeare’s roles for women.
The four mums who rowed across the Atlantic in 67 days will be telling their heroic tale with humour and Yorkshire grit at the Spa Theatre and champion jockey Declan Murphy tells the tale of his near-death fall at Haydock Park and his amazing recovery.
Celebrity authors include Denise Welch and Vicky Pattison. Welch is a TV presenter and was a panellist on daytime show Loose Women. She also starred in a number of TV shows including Coronation Street, Soldier, Soldier and Waterloo Road.
Denise has written two best selling autobiographies and will introduce her debut novel at the festival. Geordie Shore star Vicky Pattison will be joining fellow North-Easterner and bestselling author Adele Parks.
Books by the Beach, April 26May 1. Tickets are on sale now. www.booksbythebeach.co.uk
OPENING EVENT: Bestselling author Joanna Trollope will be opening Scarborough’s Books by the Beach this year.