Katie Fforde: 'A Summer at Sea' book launch in Stroud by Nikki Owen

Good news for book fans out there, as this Saturday 13th February from 10am, celebrated local author Katie Fforde will be visiting Stroud Bookshop to sign copies of her latest novel A Summer At Sea.

I think for pretty much most of us Stroudies, Katie Fforde needs no introduction, but if you are in need of a reminder, here you go. Katie is a Sunday Times Best-selling author with a whopping roster of romantic genre novels that the Independent newspaper described as, “Witty and generous – Jilly Cooper for the grown-ups.” Since her career as an author began more than two decades ago, Katie has not only gained a legion of devoted fans, but has won multiple awards (including the Romantic Novelist Association’s Contemporary Romantic Fiction Award) and has founded a bursary designed to help other writers make their author mark.

Katie – and I can vouch for this personally – is not only an amazing novelist, but one of the warmest, most kindest people you’ll meet. And if you don’t get a chance to see her on Saturday 13th, then don’t worry because Katie is also holding a book launch at The Prince Albert on Rodborough Hill the following Saturday 20th February from 2pm, and we’re all invited. And here’s an interesting fact: Lotte, the landlady of the Albert, actually features in Katie’s latest novel! When quizzed about this, Katie said, “As I was writing about a community I knew it had to have a pub. As The Prince Albert is at the heart of our village I used that. Lotte is a great character and the pub has so much character. It has a starring role.”

In fact, since Katie moved to Stroud more than thirty years ago, being part of the local community has been at the centre of everything she does, including supporting the local bookshops. “I love doing signings at Stroud Bookshop,” Katie said. “It's my 'local' and lots of people come back year after year.”

And I think this is just one of the many reasons why, not only is Katy seen as a bit of a writing legend among residents here (and among us writers, too!), but is seen as a huge supporter of Stroud, highlighting why it is so rich and cultural and downright great. Because, of course, life – well, it happens right here, and that, with Katie’s latest book is just why she has drawn inspiration from the area so heavily. “'I really wanted to do something at The Prince Albert because it features heavily in A Vintage Wedding,” said Katie.  “It's a thank you really. It's such a great pub.”

So there you go. Two chances to meet Katie Fforde, and with all her multiple best-selling novels, even more chances to sit curled up away from this winter weather and get suck into a wonderful read.

Katie will be signing books at Stroud Bookshop, 23 High Street from 10am this Saturday 13th February.The celebration launch at The Prince Albert, Rodborough Hill starts at 2pm on Saturday 20th February.

Nikki Owen is an author and writer. Her début thriller, Subject 375 (Harper Collins), is out now. Visit her blog www.nikkiowen.wordpress.com or website www.nikkiowenauthor.com