A Kenilworth bookshop is supporting both locally and internationally-renowned authors by hosting two book launches.
Kenilworth Books, based in Talisman Shopping Centre since 1970, will be hosting an evening with Joanne Harris, author of the bestselling 1999 novel ‘Chocolat’, at St Nicholas Church on Wednesday, April 3.
Harris will be launching her new book ‘The Strawberry Thief’ – the fourth in the ‘Chocolat’ series – on the day, and fans will be able to ask her questions during the event.
And Kenilworth Books will also be welcoming Warwick-based author Caroline Lea to the shop to talk about her new novel ‘The Glass Woman’ on Tuesday, March 19.
The novel is her first to be published by Penguin Books – her previous book ‘When the Sky Fell Apart’ was published by a small Australian company Text Publishing.
Owner of Kenilworth Books Judy Brook felt supporting smaller authors and attracting more established writers to come and talk was very important to the shop.
She said: “While it’s lovely we’re able to get world-famous authors like Joanne Harris to come to Kenilworth, we think it’s so important as an independent bookshop to support local, talented authors as well.
“Caroline is a fantastic writer, and ‘The Glass Woman’ is a wonderful example of her skill. And it’s brilliant her talent has been recognised by Penguin – a very highly regarded publisher.
“We hope plenty of people come along to listen to Caroline, and we also hope budding writers can take inspiration from her success.”
The shop has consistently championed smaller authors, and has campaigned to improve the treatment of writers within the book industry.
Tamsin Rosewell, who works with Judy in the shop, said: “We have a responsibility to help writers. Many earn less than the minimum wage. Some people think all writers earn as much as J K Rowling but that’s far from the truth.
“We often look to sell books from smaller publishers and authors, and we campaign to support writers.
“For example, we wrote to Theresa May calling on her to support libraries – which are so important for both authors and readers – and we have called on smaller writers to be supported on world Book Day rather than high profile ‘celebrity writers’.”
Kenilworth Books has consistently been a very popular shop in Talisman due to its proactive engagement with the community.
Hugo Hawkings, chief executive of Discovery Properties – the developer of Talisman Shopping Centre – praised the bookshop for being more than just a shop.
“Kenilworth Books consistently attracts customers again and again due to its friendliness and its willingness to create a genuine community,” he said.
“Judy has done a wonderful job since she took over the business in 2014, and the bookshop continues to go from strength to strength.
“Its support of rising, local authors and its campaigns to improve the book industry are admirable.”
Tickets for both events can be booked in store, or by visiting kenilworthbooks.co.uk/events