Southend Area Local Author Day (SALAD)

Southend Area Local Author Day (SALAD)
07 July 2018
10:00 - 17:30
The Forum, Elmer Square, Elmer Avenue, Southend-on-Sea

Southend Area Local Authors’ Day (SALAD) is an annual event to showcase the work of local authors. The idea came about after local children’s author Ann Robson, offered to donate some of her popular illustrated books to the children’s library, one of which is set in Southend. Despite an initial enthusiastic response by the librarian, the manager declined them. Eventually, after some remonstrance her books got accepted. “This led me to think that others may well be in the same situation and I set about getting a day for all local authors. I feel that ordinary people’s talents whether they be artists, authors or crafters are poorly represented generally unless they are already famous,” said Ann. She established the first SALAD at The Forum in Southend in 2014 and this will be the fourth year the event has run. Ann and other SALAD members feel very strongly that local talent should be recognised and given the opportunity to be enjoyed by the public.

Presented by the Southend Writers and Artists Network (SWAN), this free author discussion is hosted by author Dee Gordon, it offers a fascinating look into Southend’s history, its residents, visitors. Topics come from Rossi’s Patricia Volante, Karen Bowman who shares a passion for the town and its powerful characters and Ian Yearsley who will tell stories of some of Southend’s 50 most interesting buildings.

Authors attending all day (speciality)
Ann Robson (pre-school children’s fiction) is the author and illustrator of a series of colourful books for primary school-aged children called 'The Pink Mouse Gang'. One of her books is set in Southend and called 'Zippit and Lee Go To Southend-on-Sea.' She regularly visits schools with her life size characters. Robson is founder of SALAD is passionate about promoting local authors.
Robert Hallmann (history, photography, children’s fiction) is author of many local history titles, ghost stories and the illustrated children’s novel 'Festival of the Gargoyles' which is set in Southend and Benfleet in the mid-1800s, a time when ghosts and monsters lurk in the mist and children must beware. Lizzie with her animal friends get in the way of the evil smuggler Sam Smagge. Can she escape before the night when the hideous stone gargoyles come to life to terrorise the villagers?
Sarah Smith (fiction)
Simon Woodward (Young Adult (YA) fantasy fiction) was working consistently in IT for 30 years before he decided it was time to forego the strictly logical world of computing and take up writing, in his spare time. He credits his wife Yve for encouraging him to publish his first two horror novels, 'Centurion' and 'When Evil Wins.' He has subsequently published a horror collection, 'Dark Matters', another horror fiction, 'When Evil Wins and Dark Matters' ans also writes adult fantasy fiction.
Dorothy Turner (poetry) is a poet who regularly contributes to anthologies and will be representing  Southend Poetry Group.
Tessa Buckley (YA fiction writer, health cookbook) writes both children’s books and health cookery books. Her debut novel, 'Eye Spy' won a Red Ribbon at the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2015. It is the first in a series of stories for middle grade readers. It is set in Southend and follows the fortunes of teenage investigators Alex and Donna Macintyre and their detective service, Eye Spy Investigations. More than just a simple mystery story, it’s a tale of family secrets and lies and what happens when these are finally revealed.
Lynden Wade (fiction) was home schooled in a village in West Africa, giving her lots of time to read. The bright colours of illustrations to fairy tales, legends and medieval history - worlds away from the dry grass lands and termite hills around her - inspired her to write her own stories. Her stories have been published in The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3 and in the JL Anthology From the Stories of Old. Three more stories are due to be published in 2018 and she is working on a historical novel. She loves tea shops, book shops, period drama, castles and trees.
Owen Knight (YA fiction) is author of 'The Invisible College Trilogy', an apocalyptic dystopian conspiracy tale for young adults and adults and '1984 Meets the Book of Revelation.' Born in Southend, he spent his childhood days outdoors, creating imaginary worlds and has used this experience to create a world based on documented myths, with elements of dystopia, mystery and science fiction.

Authors attending some of the day 
10.30-12.30 Colin Taylor (children’s fiction) is a writer and storyteller. He writes fiction for children, short stories for adults and has been known to write musicals and poetry. Having been a primary school teacher, he is able to visit schools, tell stories, inspire children to write and sell his books. At present, he is Chair of Brentwood Writer's Circle and has been a committee member for many years.
12.30-3.30 Estuary Publishing (local history) Audrey Snee is an author, journalist and publisher and founder of SWAN. Her company Estuary Publishing specialises in books that tell the story of Southend. Titles to date are Rossi’s (about the family that set up the famous ice-cream company), Ekco Sounds (an intimate account of the Ekco factory as told by the family and employees) and Sole Searching (stories from the local fishing community). Under the pen name of Una Rose, she has also written a novel called 'The Tokyo Express' which is a family saga set in post-war Japan and rural Ireland.
1.30 -3.30 Dee Gordon (local history) was born in East London but has lived in the Southend area for the past 30 years. She always wanted to write and on leaving school, wrote to every publisher in London and only got as far as a job in the London Weekly Advertiser's accounts department but at least it was in Fleet Street! As a teenager, Gordeon wrote many picture scripts for teenage magazines (Jackie, Marilyn, Mirabelle, Romeo). She drifted into recruitment after a spell as a secretary, ending up with her own agency which she sold in 2000. She then completed an Open University degree in English Literature, a long-held ambition. Retirement meant time to read and write, as well as look after her adult autistic son, Ben. Gordon is author of 13 local history books (Essex and East London), plus a novel called 'My Little Brother, My Little Life' and for something a bit different, has also written 'The Little Book of the 1960s' and 'Bad Girls from History.'
1.30-3.30 Dennis Thompson (pre-school children) is the author and illustrator of 'The Wandering Worm' and 'The Tale of the Greedy
Fish.' He made the books as gifts for his daughters Heidi and Lois, though he had never written or illustrated books before. His real job is working in an office but he far prefers colouring in fish and worms. He printed 2,000 copies of the original edition of the Greedy Fish which was funded by a Kickstarter crowdfunding project in 2014 and all but a few were given away free to schools, libraries,
children's charities and hospitals. He regularly visits schools near and far to read the books and help to encourage literacy and art. There's lots of fun free stuff, photos and links for special offer books on his website.
2.30-4.30 Graham Hevy (religion, well-being) focuses on his earlier life threatening self-willed attitude that hindered his recovery from addiction in his first book, 'Lost For Words.' For years, Hevy believed that the answers for sobriety would be found in therapeutic narratives discovered within the annals of our libraries and universities. But gripping hold of the wrong books, caused nothing more than frustration and despair. Once replaced with the Bible, Graham’s life changed, and he became a testimony to the living active power of the Scriptures and the original 12-step programme.
4.30 -5.30 Samantha Lierens (fiction) writes both fiction and plays, previously worked as an English teacher in Paris and Tokyo and has an MA in creative writing from Goldsmiths. Her latest endeavour is a series of novels under the pen name Lizzie Page. The first in the series is 'The War Nurses', a moving tale about the friendship between two young nurses and is based on a true story.

Patricia Putt has always enjoyed using her imagination and the English language - having a good imagination helps. When her daughters were young, she used to write stories for them. If we were in a restaurant or abroad on holiday, she would look at the people with us and invent stories around them. She used to write for the church parish and company magazine where she worked in the City. Her first was published in September 1989 when with friends in Germany - it was her husband who suggested writing my first real novel. Working as a medium for many years inspired her - all it takes is to have someone use a word, give an idea - the birth of a novel. It took three years to complete the first draft and 18 months and a lot of hard work to put it together. She likes to write with no interference. She has approached her second novel in a totally different way but the ideas came again via her husband. She has focused on his life in East London and some of the characters are the larger than life people he met. Born and brought up in India, she will never write about the country because she feels it is overdone. 

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