‘Reading Rocks’ at Dudley Archives

Bookworms – come along and turn a page or two at this fantastic afternoon at the Dudley Archives, where you can meet local authors Fiona Joseph, Samantha Hayes and Robert Ronsson.

Whether you’re an aspiring writer yourself looking to pick up tips from published authors, loved one of the authors’ books and have a burning question to ask, or have a lasting love of all things literary – this is a reader’s or writer’s dream event.

Here’s a little bit more on each of the visiting authors:

Fiona JosephFiona Joseph

Fiona began writing creatively in 2004. She writes both fiction and non-fiction novels as well as short stories.

Non-fiction

In her non fiction novels, Fiona likes to tell the life stories of amazing people – people who challenge industry and society to be fairer, more peaceful and just – and people she would love you to get to know. Her first biography was about Beatrice Cadbury, the radical daughter of the Bournville chocolate empire, and her latest project will tell the equally compelling story of a very important socially-minded industrialist. More info on this coming soon!

Fiction

Her latest novel Comforts For The Troops is a fact-inspired story about three women working at Cadburys during WW1.

Short stories

Fiona’s short stories usually have contemporary settings. The Hills and the Fortune won a prize in the Happenstance Short Story competition in 2009 and you can buy it for 99p here on Gumroad. (All proceeds to the charity, Refuge.) Or sit back, relax and listen to a reading of The Last Train to Soller, narrated by actor and writer Geoff Mills. Her latest story Ruby Cufflinks can be found in The Sea in Birmingham anthology of 22 stories, celebrating 30 years of Tindal Street Fiction Group.

samantha-hayes-bio-picSamantha Hayes

Samantha is Midlands born and bred, a local lass who grew up here with her parents and younger brother. Samantha always wanted to be a writer and pestered for her first typewriter when she was only ten. It wasn’t a clear-cut path to her dream career and it took several decades longer to get there than she anticipated.

She says, “Along the way I had many experiences, met a host of intriguing people, lived in several continents, met my husband, and had my three beautiful children.

“Over the years I’ve worked as a private investigator, bar maid, car cleaner, fruit picker, accounts clerk, nursery nurse, waitress…and I learnt to fly a plane before I could drive a car because for a while I wanted to be a pilot.

“I travelled the world and spent an eye-opening time living on a kibbutz, where, having always written as a child and teenager, I was inspired to write longer fiction. After some more backpacking and a stint living in London, I moved to Australia for three years, got married, and had a glorious time in Brisbane and Melbourne.

“Between 1991 and 1998 I had my children. We lived in the UK and the USA, where my youngest daughter was born. After Seattle, we returned to England, finally settling back in my home county of Warwickshire, where we’ve since renovated several old houses.”

Throughout the years, Samantha has always strived to improve her writing and in 2003, won a short story competition and subsequently had a novel published by a small independent press. Since 2007, she has had four novels published by Headline under the name Sam Hayes—BLOOD TIESUNSPOKENTELL TALE and SOMEONE ELSE’S SON.

She is now represented by Oli Munson at A M Heath Ltd and her books are published by Century and Arrow, with her latest novel UNTIL YOU’RE MINE (the first in her new detective series based in Birmingham) and written as Samantha Hayes became available in June 2013. You can find details of all Samantha’s recent novels by visiting the books page of her website.

Robert Ronsson

Robert lives in the Severn Valley with his wife Valerie. They have three children and two grandchildren. Robert retired early from his career in financial services to start writing full-time.

Robert is on the organising team of his home town’s blossoming literary festival and he and Valerie help run its community cinema.

View a short video about his book Out of Such Darkness here:

The event takes place on Saturday 16 May at 1pm. Tickets are £5 and includes afternoon tea.

To reserve your ticket,  phone The Archives on 01384 812770.