Exciting authors at our book club

We have two exciting authors for you to meet at our book club meetings this summer.

In June we will welcome the adventurer Heather Dawe who is a writer, artist and data scientist from West Yorkshire. She lives a life of adventure, and for twenty years she has spent as much time as possible running, cycling and climbing in wild and mountainous places. 

She loves painting, reading and writing about mountains, her books include Adventures In Mind, Traceless (co-authored with Geoff Cox) and Mountain Stories, and she’s currently working on a collection of short stories, two of which were published in Alpinist 78 and Alpinist 80

She was one of the editors of Waymaking, which won the Mountain Literature (Non-Fiction) Prize at Banff in 2019, was on the jury for the 2021 Banff Mountain Book Competition and was guest editor of the 2022 edition of The Himalayan Journal. She also written for a variety of print and online publications including The Guardian, UKClimbing.com and Caught By the River.

She also wrote A Bicycle Ride in Yorkshire, inspired by the visit of the 2014 Tour de France, which combines her love for cycling, painting, writing and the county. “The  route of Le Tour Yorkshire takes in some of the best roads and  scenery the county has to offer, the illustrations follow the route, reflecting the heritage of the county as well as the beauty and sheer  variety of places and things there are to see.

Heather says that these days she finds the writing and painting as important as racing around the mountains. “My inspiration comes from the time I spend in wild places, in remembering these times and dreaming up more.” She currently has an exhibition of her work at the Alpine Club in London.

Heather will be with us on Weds June 14, starting at 7pm.

The following month, Weds July 12, our guest will be another of our exciting authors, Jo Horsley, from Kendal, the author of The Girl In the Purple Dress. The book is the her own story, the experience of being an adopted child. And 25% of the profits from the sales are going to UK children’s charity Coram.

Jo’s adoption story begins in the late 1960s. A small child is being rocked by her mother as she struggles to hand Jo to the adoption agency. Through school and work, heartbreak and marriage, love and loss, Jo discovers more about herself and builds a life that embraces all definitions of the word ‘family.’

Jo Horsley was born in 1969 and grew up in Hertfordshire, having been adopted into a clergyman’s family with six other children. Jo went on to be a very successful and highly valued Nursery Nurse. She then travelled internationally with her husband, where she discovered a new love for helping others through teaching Pilates, helping  others to transform their bodies and lives. Jo eventually returned to the UK, settling in Kendal, Cumbria, where her daughter Emily and her granddaughter Daisy May now also live. Her story hasn’t ended, and there’s so much more to come.

Coram is the UK’s oldest children’s charity, supporting children to have the best possible chance in life since 1739. Jo’s story takes us back to 1969, the year she was born. Jo’s biological mother contacted Coram for help. She was a single mother receiving no support from her family or Jo’s father, who had abandoned her. Coram provided her with some breathing space to try and help her work out what was best for her and Jo which proved very valuable support at the time. Years later, in 2009, Jo contacted Coram, to help her understand more about her life between 1969-1970. Amazingly, they had comprehensive records and photos of her time at Coram, and helped her learn more about her birth mother.

Coram today works as a group of specialist organisations, directly helping over 118,000 children, young people, families, and professionals every year. They support children and young people from their earliest days to independence, creating a change that lasts a lifetime. They help build their confidence, help them to develop skills, uphold their rights, support practitioners in the areas of fostering and adoption, and find loving adoptive families for the most vulnerable children.

Rachael Corns, Supporter Relations Manager at Coram, said: “It has been wonderful to learn more about Jo’s story and the support she received from Coram. Her new book gives a fascinating and important insight into the challenges and rewards of growing up in an adoptive family. We’re delighted that Coram has been chosen to benefit from the book sales. Jo’s generosity will help us support more children and families on the life-changing journey of adoption.”

There won’t be a book club meeting in August but for the rest of the year our provisional schedule is:

Sept 8: The founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton-Hewitt in conversation with parkrun author Eileen Jones

Oct 18: Psychological thriller writer Paul Teague whose books include a trilogy set in Morecambe Bay