IT was a whirlwind week that would not be out of place in one of her novels as local author Phaedra Patrick launched her third book, completed her fourth and attended a glittering celebration in London.
The three busy days in June were the culmination of months of hard work, creativity and determination for the Dobcross-based writer.
‘The Library of Lost and Found’ was officially unveiled at Uppermill Library in July with the help with Oldham Libraries, who also launched Phaedra’s first two books.
Around 30 guests, including family, friends and fans, gathered for the intimate event, with Phaedra reading an extract of her latest novel, answering questions, and signing copies.
She said: “As I child, I used to go to Oldham Library every week with my mum and dad and I always felt it was magical.
“From a very young age I would look at the books on the shelves and knew I wanted to have one of mine on there too.”
Phaedra’s third novel takes inspiration from her love of libraries as it tells of volunteer librarian Martha Storm, who takes delivery of a mysterious book of fairy tales.
Within its pages lies a surprising dedication that stirs up family secrets and sparks her own emotional journey of discovery.
Phaedra added: “I loved Enid Blyton but a lot of her stories were about middle class children in boarding school and I couldn’t relate to that.
“I just want to write good, heart-warming stories with happy endings. I’ve never been interested in doing anything heavy duty or experimental.
“When my first book was published, Donald Trump was running for election and I think perhaps Americans just wanted something light-hearted to escape with.
“At the moment my books are popular here and Brexit is happening so I do think there is a link with the political situation and people wanting to just read something with light-hearted with a happy ending.”
The book has already proved a hit in the USA, where People magazine called it “Sweet and resonant” while UK review website Lovereading said “What an absolutely gorgeous book.”
“I’m so pleased to officially launch this book in Uppermill after months of hard work,” said Phaedra.
“It’s really been a whirlwind week as I finished my fourth book on Tuesday, was at a celebration party in London on Wednesday and then back up to Saddleworth on Thursday for this launch.
“I’m going to have a break over the summer now – I need some time to decorate my house!”
Phaedra first caught the literary world’s attention with her ‘The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper’ in 2016, now a top-seller in more than 19 countries worldwide. Book two – ‘Wishes under the Willow Tree’ – soon followed, also to great acclaim.
She became a full-time writer four years ago and now she works from a small shed in her garden that overlooks the beautiful Saddleworth hills.
Naturally some readers don’t enjoy the books and Phaedra revealed she has invented ‘Book Review Bingo’ which comically stereotypes negative reviewers as a way of dealing with their criticisms.
‘The Library of Lost and Found’, released by HQ/HarperCollins in paperback, ebook and audio book form, is available from Waterstones, Amazon, Kobo, Apple, WHSmith, libraries, and independent bookstores.
Find out more about Phaedra’s books and see her writing tips and reading group questions on her website: www.phaedra-patrick.com
THREE lucky readers can win a signed copy of a book by Phaedra Patrick.
To be in with a chance of winning answer the question:
What was the name of Phaedra’s first book?
Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Aimee Belmore, Saddleworth Independent, Units 3-4, 45 High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth OL3 6HS.
Please include your name and contact details. The closing date for entries is August 30, 2019.
The judges’ decision is final.