Historical fiction night at the Festival of Chichester

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Three best-selling historical-fiction authors, Suzanne Goldring, Louise Morrish and Gill Thompson, combine for this year’s Festival of Chichester to examine why readers eagerly consume novels set during WWI and WWII.

They are promising a lively discussion. Tickets are £5 available from the Festival of Chichester box office for the event which will be called Do Mention The War! and which will be on Friday, June 21 at 7.30pm at the University of Chichester Library, Bishop Otter Campus, PO19 6PE.

Gill explained: “We all write novels set in and around the two world wars, ranging from the occupation of the Channel Islands to the Special Operations Executive and the Blitz. In what promises to be a lively and informative evening, we’ll be discussing why these topics provide such endless fascination for readers, as well as giving away some tips for budding writers.

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“The university, formerly Bishop Otter College, was the nerve centre for air support during the World War Two D-Day landings when it was occupied by the Royal Air Force between August 1942 and May 1945, so it’s a particularly appropriate place in which to hold our discussion. It’s even thought that Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower and General Montgomery would have visited what was known as The Great Hall to inspect operations. We are certainly following in illustrious footsteps!”

Gill Thompson (pic by Stephen Fayers)Gill Thompson (pic by Stephen Fayers)
Gill Thompson (pic by Stephen Fayers)

Following an eventful career as a public relations consultant, specialising in business and travel, Suzanne Goldring turned to writing the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Her bestselling books have sold worldwide and have been translated into Russian, German, Italian, Romanian, Albanian, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. All of Suzanne’s novels combine a present-day narrative with First and Second World War history to tell of secrets that surprise and intrigue. Her latest novel, The Girl Who Never Came Back, is about a girl who disappeared on a dangerous mission to France and the woman who spent years trying to find her.

Louise Morrish is a librarian whose debut novel Operation Moonlight, about a Special Operations Executive in World War Two, won the 2019 Penguin Random House First Novel Competition. She finds inspiration for her stories in the real-life adventures of women in the past, whom history has forgotten. She is currently working on a new novel, inspired by two female doctors who were medical pioneers in the First World War.

Gill Thompson is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Chichester University, where she gained an MA in creative writing in 2015. Prior to that she was a teacher for forty years, writing in her spare time, before achieving her dream ambition of having her first novel published. Gill’s latest book, The Orphans on the Train is about two girls fighting for survival in war-torn Budapest. Her novels have been translated into ten European languages.

The evening will be compered by David Kinder, an actor and playwright. Tickets from Festival of Chichester.

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