Fringe Box



Local Author Delighted With the Reception of Her New Book

Published on: 10 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 10 Jul, 2023

Alice signs another copy of her new book

By Martin Giles

Book fans crowded in the GUArt Gallery in Swan Lane on Thursday evening (July 6) to attend the launch of The Truth Has Arms And Legs by local author and Dragon contributor, Alice Fowler.

The book is a collection of short stories which “explores the pivotal moments that transform our lives”.

See Hugh Coakley’s book review here.

Delighted with the reception the book has received both generally and at the launch event, Alice said: “Old friends who have followed my writing journey came from as far as Gloucestershire, Somerset, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Sussex and London to celebrate with me, as well as many friends from Guildford and surrounds.”

The first story in the collection, The Race, was inspired by a David Rose article Clues To Surrey’s First School For Gypsies Deep In The Hurtwood on the gypsies who camped at the Hurtwood in the 1920s. It was published in The Dragon during the pandemic in June 2020.

Alice is the centre of attention in the gallery, crowded with those who were fans and supporters.

Alice said: “David’s feature included a lot of fascinating details, including scrapbooks that hinted at local villagers’ uneasy relationship with the gypsies. He also mentioned the ’school on wheels’ provided by Surrey County Council, believed to be the first such school in England.

“Those details took root in my imagination and helped me write ’The Race’, written from the viewpoint of a young gypsy girl running against the village girls in shoes. The story won the HWA (Historical Writers Association) short story prize in 2020 and was a big step on my path to publication.

“I’m proud to have reviewed theatre and opera for The Dragon since 2017, and David’s article gives me another reason to be grateful to our online newspaper.

“I am bowled over by the wonderful response to my book. Many people say the stories have made them laugh and cry, even saying how beautifully written they are. To hear that as a debut author is breathtaking.”

“Many writer friends also came to support including Sussex writer Tracy Fells, who has a short story collection out with Fly On The Wall Press later this year. Tracy and I will share a second official launch at the Keep in October.

“The short story was read by my god-daughter, Sarah Woodard, a financial analyst and WeAreTheCity Rising Star Award Winner 2022.”

Alice speaks to another fan and The Dragon is not the only one capturing the moment.

The collection is attracting a great deal of positive attention including a review from influential book blogger Linda Hill. Linda called it “the one book you MUST read this year” ‘looking into the very heart and soul of humanity’ ‘luminous brilliance…not a syllable out of place’.

And Waterstones Leadenhall Market (in London) have called the collection their favourite book of the year.

Alice continued: “I will be appearing on BBC Radio Surrey & Sussex on July 29 on the Amanny Mo show in their Literary Hub interview slot.

“The launch at The Keep pub is already a sell-out and the book is going to a second print-run before official publication day (14/7).

“I’ve also received great support from the Historical Writers Association, The Literary Consultancy and the agents Curtis Brown, who are all featuring me on blogs and newsletters.”

Dragon NEWS editor Martin Giles, said: “We are delighted that our dear colleague is enjoying such deserved success and it shows the talent we have here within our small team.

“It sounds like the truth about Alice’s book is reaching out with its arms and legs too.”

The Truth has Arms and Legs is available from: Fly on the Wall Press, Waterstones and Amazon

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *