Unleash the Ghouls!


Real-life ghost stories, grisly tales, horror fiction, music, poetry & comedy with a supernatural flavour at the White Lion, Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull B92 0AA


Sunday 29th October 7.30 – 10pm


FREE TICKETS available from The Corner Shop, Post Office, and Village Stores

or drop me a line



Never seen this series which, judging by its BAFTA awards, has been well-received by the critics. Apparently it has the approval of the viewing public too, if twitter is anything to go by. Now while it may be worth watching, I could never watch it without being constantly reminded that a fictional village would never, ever acquire such a name.  Whilst I concede my knowledge is better than most on the subject of toponomy (origins of place names), surely anyone can see there would never be a ‘broad church’?

It does raise the question as to how many novelists put any real thought into creating fictional place names. As a writer of fiction do you simply copy existing names, or create your own?

Tamworth Literary Festival 2017

For eight days in early March Tamworth’s very own literary festival brought a varied line up to the town. In my role as chairman I was very much involved, together with secretary Tina and a half dozen willing helping hands.

Although by the time the doors shut on the final day we were frankly exhausted, the whole event proved highly rewarding and most enjoyable. Meeting up again with friends we had made over the last 2.1/2 years since the launch in 2014, by the end of the week we had made many new ones. Indeed on the final day at the second Book Blast, the camaraderie and warmth within the building was a real joy to experience.

In truth numbers could have been better and mistakes were made. Yet we learned and overall I think the week can be considered a success. If we had any doubts perhaps the many words of congratulations from any number of people was enough to convince us. Yet, for me, one lady who had attended every single event summed up what we had achieved best of all.

On the final day I took time to have a quiet word and thank her personally for her amazing support. Her reply made all the effort more than worthwhile when she said: “It has been more than a pleasure for every single day has been different and you have taken me into a different world.” What more could anyone ask for?

Dan Snow and Dr Sara Read

Most will know Dan Snow, one of the UK’s most popular broadcasters when it comes to history. Some of you will be aware of the highly successful website History Hit website and, if so, you will also be aware of the huge number of podcasts now available to download or listen to online.

The History Hit network continues to expand and, alongside Dan Snow, find Dr Janina Ramirez and her Art Detective podcast, also a selection of excellent lectures at the Chalke Valley History Festival, and Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell bring a fascinating new look at history with their Histories of the Unexpected.

When it comes to the last series of podcasts, ‘Unexpected’ is exactly the way to describe the latest episode entitled Blood for these eminent historians refer to a book written by none other than Dr Sara Read who will be appearing at the Book Blasts in March. Listen to the podcast then come along and meet the author (and many others) and even get your copy of the book signed by the lady herself.

Tamworth Literary Festival and Saturday’s Book Blasts

The image below speaks for itself, so let us have a closer look at this superb line up and (please note) both Saturdays are free!

Book Blasts jpeg 2017.png

New Street Authors are a highly talented and knowledge bunch who will entertain and delight. Not enough room to cover everything they do in a couple of lines here, so go to their website and have a look at what they do and what is coming up.

Pat Spence is a freelance author and former magazine editor who pens books with a supernatural twist – have a look her amazon page for a selection of her work.

Lucy Felthouse has her own website and has penned award winning stories. Even if her genre is not your style this lady is a pure delight to meet in the flesh (pun intended).

Jane Heron likes her dark horror and details of her books be found here

Ian Cawley is the author of Gnosis which features on his goodreads page

Simon Goodwin brings his self-confessed ‘geek’ to the table. Simon likes his fantasy and sci-fi and has penned and published stories of his own .

A.A.Abbott makes a welcome return, having guested for us twice before. A talented author, she pens addictive crime thrillers, and is part of the thriller panel which will undoubtedly feature some insight into something of her work.

Dr Sara Read featured at Tamworth Town Hall last year where she gave a fascinating insight into her book Maids, Wives and Widows.

Heide Goody has a smile to brighten any room and is with Iain Grant, co-author of the Clovenhoof Satan-in-suburbia comedy series and Million Dollar Dress on her own.

Rob Sinclair penned Dark Secrets, of which some 200,000 have been sold and there is talk of a sequel.

Sharon Rose is a local author with four books published so far. She says there is another on the way and is a delight to chat to.

Vivian Khan has also supported us before. At our What’s Cooking event in April 2016, Viv prepared a delicious chicken curry for guests and the students at Tamworth College.

Comic Book Guitars bring old guitars back to life in an ingenious way. Matt will demonstrate and perhaps even let you touch his E, G, B, D, or F strings.

Tamworth based book reviewer and blogger reviews a number of books each year. Perhaps one post will feature yours.

Beanstalk offer literacy support in schools and will be coming along to showcase what they do and look for volunteers.

With advice for would-be and existing writers from authors of virtually every genre, a thriller panel, free refreshments, books and comics, this is something you do not want to miss. Although it is free it will help if you register with the eventbrite website for either Saturday March 4th and/or Saturday March 11th.

Oh and one other person will be around, too. Me.