Last week, Chichester Copywriter was lucky enough to attend the Telegraph Book Club’s Tour event held at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. This was a fantastic opportunity for Katy to learn more about emerging new talent Lucy Wood and gain some inspiration for her own creative writing.
The Book Club Tour event involved the Telegraph’s creative writing expert Louise Dougherty chatting to the upcoming author Lucy Wood about her critically-acclaimed collection of short stories. This took place in Pallant House Gallery and the Pallant House Bookshop, customers of which described it as a “truly special and unique place” when putting it forward as the ideal venue for the final event in the 2012 Book Club Tour.
Louise spoke with Lucy about her experiences as a writer and her debut book Diving-Belles, which is a collection of magical short stories set on the Cornish Coast. Then, 25-year-old Lucy gave readings from two different stories and revealed a clear juxtaposition of the magical with everyday occurrences running through her writing. For example, in a story based on the Cornish legend of standing stones, images of a woman who turns to stone were placed side by side with images of a house’s central heating clicking on and off.
Lucky enough to have her talents spotted by her tutor while studying for an MA in Creative Writing, Lucy had a book deal not long after finishing university. During the talk, Lucy revealed that Diving-Belles was inspired by poetry as well as traditional Cornish folklore and has also had her writing compared to Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood and AS Byatt. This was all music to Chichester Copywriter’s ears, since Katy is currently writing her own fantasy novel.
When asked about writing fantasy, Lucy talked of the importance in taking leaps and not playing it too safe, something which happens quite naturally when using folklore as a muse. Louise Dougherty commented that one of the best things about Lucy’s short stories is that the magic never needs to be explained. This is something that Lucy might deal with differently in the novel she is currently writing, which is told from the view points of three different generations of women, is set by a river and contains yet more magic.
The Telegraph journalist rounded things up by saying what a brilliant setting the Gallery was for Lucy’s talk, as each of her stories has a strong image running throughout it like the enigma of a painting. This was backed up by a member of the Gallery’s staff commenting on how Lucy’s imagery in Diving-Belles reminds her of Leonora Carrington’s paintings, which Chichester Copywriter blogged about previously.
After the talk, came a drinks and canapé reception, sponsored by National Book Tokens, and then a book signing in the Pallant House Bookshop where Chichester Copywriter got the opportunity to meet Lucy Wood.