Phaedra Patrick is one of the 12 authors on this year’s Read Regional line up. Her book, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, is a delightful novel about loss, self-discovery and hope. Phaedra is joining the other Read Regional authors on tour, where she’ll be talking about her book and writing experiences.

I caught up with her last week on the day of her first event, to talk about books, libraries, writing and what’s next for this charming author.

How does it feel to talk about your work in front of an audience at a Read Regional event?

I feel really proud to be invited to take part. I think most writers, including myself, are naturally introverted so talking about my work in front of an audience is exciting but a little scary too.

I can usually be found sitting in the corner of my kitchen tapping away on the computer, so it makes a nice change to get out and about, to visit libraries and to meet readers and librarians. It will be fascinating to see and hear audience reactions to the book, both positive and critical.

There are 12 authors in this year’s Read Regional programme. Do you enjoy working with other writers?

Working with other authors is a new delight and I enjoyed meeting and chatting to all the other Read Regional authors. I find that writers of any genre or status are really supportive and encouraging of each other. Everyone has such different personal stories about their work and journey to publication.

Read Regional works with 23 local authorities across the North, and each event is hosted in a local library. How important do you think libraries are in nurturing and supporting a love of reading?

I think they are absolutely essential. When I was small, a trip to the library was a weekly treat, as I loved to read and it made books accessible. And now that I’m older my son loves libraries too. There are not many things in life that are wondrous, free and offer something for everyone.

What’s your favourite book from the Read Regional catalogue (other than your own, of course!)?

There is such a brilliant range of books that I admit I’ve not managed to read them all yet and it’s difficult to select one. A. A. Dhand’s Streets of Darkness sounds like a thrilling, gritty read, and Naomi Booth’s Lost Art of Sinking sounds intriguing.

What are you working on next?

I’m around 25,000 words in to writing my third novel (currently untitled), and I have around six months left to complete it. On some days the words flow and on other days they definitely don’t.

My second novel, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone, will be published in the US in May, so I’ll be heading out there to do a publication tour, and I have 11 library dates lined up for UK Read Regional events, so I’m definitely going to be busy!

Phaedra at Elland Library, courtesy of Calderdale Libraries on Twitter

For your chance to hear more from Phaedra and the other Read Regional authors, grab a ticket for an event in a library near you.

www.bookandbrew.net / @Bookandbrew

Find out more about Read Regional: www.newwritingnorth.com/projects/read-regional