Felixstowe Book Festival Goes Digital – Line Up Announced For June 2020

It has just been announced that  Felixstowe Book Festival is going ahead this year, albeit  in a ‘virtual’ form of  live streamed interviews with some of the authors who were booked to come to Felixstowe before coronavirus struck. A JustGiving page has also been launched to help cover the costs of the virtual festival. 

“It was a huge relief that everyone, the committee, all our enthusiastic volunteers, sponsors and some of the authors, have been able to work together to create a virtual Felixstowe Book Festival for the weekend of 27/28th June,” said Meg Reid, Festival Director. “We waited as long as we could to see how the situation regarding coronavirus worked out, and I was very disappointed that the Festival, that we had spent months planning, looked as though it would have to be cancelled. The new-style festival is very exciting, and I hope that everyone enjoys hearing the authors being interviewed and talking about their work.”

The Felixstowe Book Festival Book Group kick off the on-line festival when author Ruth Dugdall, and librarian & book lover Liz Rastrick, invite everyone to a birthday party to celebrate Anne Bronte’s 200th birthday.

On Friday June 26th, at 7.30pm, on ZOOM (ID: 858 5444 7275) Nick Holland, a leading authority on the Brontës, will join in to talk about his latest book Crave the Rose: Anne Bronte at 200’  He is also the author of  In Search of of Anne Bronte.  Nick will reveal Anne’s brilliance as a writer, her tragic death and her life with genius sisters Charlotte and Emily.

There will be six live streamed interviews across Saturday and Sunday 27th and 28th June.  They are with George Alagiah, newsreader and author of Burning Land, set in the new South Africa, Nick Cottam ( a virtual illustrated tour of the River Deben, Life on the Deben), Liz Trenow (her novel  Under A Wartime Sky, set at Bawdsey Manor), Harriet Tyce (about her tense crime novel, Blood Orange’),  Paul French (writer of a Shanghai Noir, City of Devils) and writer and actress, Carol Drinkwater (her latest novel is ‘The House on the Edge of the Cliff’)

Audiences can tune in to listen and to ask questions on the Festival’s Facebook page  www.facebook.com/FelixstoweBookFest/ and on the website, https://www.felixstowebookfestival.co.uk.

Also the Festival has videos from Iain Dale talking politics and Paul French for an author Q&A about China.

“I’m also asking some of the other 2020 speakers if they would like to film on their phones, making a short video of themselves in the place where they write”, added Meg Reid, “which should be fascinating. ”

“We also set up a Just Giving Crowd Funding page set up to support the costs of the on-line festival.  Any donation, however small, will be much appreciated,” Meg explained. “We are hoping to raise £1000”.

To donate to the Felixstowe Book Festival the Just Giving page is:


Full details of the new programme is on the Felixstowe Book Festival website, but the streamed authors will be broadcast live at the following times:

Saturday 27th June  

Harriet Tyce 11 am, Paul French 2pm and Carol Drinkwater  4.30pm

Sunday 28th June

Liz Trenow 11.30, George Alagiah 2pm and Nick Cottam 4pm

For more details please contact Festival Director Meg Reid 01394 279783 or meg@megreid.co.uk

Full details of authors and timings: 


Harriet Tyce Blood Orange (11am)

A twisty and tense crime novel that raises searching questions about marriage and love, addiction and delusion, and ultimately innocence and guilt. ‘Blood Orange’, has been long-listed for the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year, is a Sunday Times bestseller, and a Richard and Judy top read.

Paul French City of Devils (2pm)

A spell-binding and dramatic true account of Shanghai’s lawless 1930s and of two of its most notorious Jazz Age criminals. Paul French is the winner of both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction.

Carol Drinkwater The House on the Edge of the Cliff  (4.30pm)

Past and present spectacularly collide in this gripping story of enduring love and betrayal echoing across the decades. Carol Drinkwater’s books, which include memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France, have sold over one million copies worldwide. She is an award-winning actress best known for playing Helen Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small.


Liz Trenow Under A Wartime Sky 11.30am

Liz Trenow’s latest novel draws on real life events just before the Second World War, when some of the country’s brightest minds were gathered at Bawdsey Manor, an extraordinary gothic mansion on the Suffolk coast. They have been tasked by Churchill to develop an invention, shrouded in secrecy, that will change the course of the Second World War. In this febrile atmosphere, an unusual relationship develops between a brilliant scientist and a local Felixstowe girl, with potentially disastrous consequences. Interviewed by Rachel Sloane.

George Alagiah The Burning Land 2pm

The exhilarating debut political thriller from the BBC News at Six presenter George Alagiah. The Burning Land is set in the new South Africa where corruption threatens the dreams of its people, frustration turns to violence and a shocking murder sets in motion events no one can control. Chaired by Mandy Morton

Nick Cottam Life on the Deben 4pm

Nick Cottam will take you on a virtual journey down the River Deben, based on the book  Life on the Deben, which he co wrote with Tim Curtis, and the film of the same name. The book tells the story of the 25-mile long River Deben, from its Debenham source to the sea and from Roman times to the present day. Sutton Hoo, the lost port of Goseford, piracy and environmental threats to today’s river all feature.




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