Saturday, 13 August 2022

Thames walks inspire first-time authors to write novel together

A LOVE of the river was the catalyst that led two local women to pen their

A LOVE of the river was the catalyst that led two local women to pen their debut novel, Riverside Lane.

Julia Thum, who handles public relations for Henley’s Rivertime Boat Trust, and journalist Gaynor Pengelly met at the school gates and dreamed up the plot while walking their dogs along the Thames Path.

With 1,000 copies already pre-sold, their novel will be on national release from Tuesday, November 1.

Riverside Lane is a tautly paced page-turner that gently satirises middle class English manners against the exquisite backdrop of a village by the Thames.

Writing under the pseudonym Ginger Black, the authors will be signing books that will be available for purchase at the Boatique nautical emporium in Friday Street, Henley, between 6pm and 8.30pm on Thursday (October 20). Entry is free.

Boatique director Gillian Nahum said: “We are delighted to be the first to showcase Riverside Lane in Henley. The book is a perfect fit for us — it even has one of our boats on the front cover!”

Gaynor Pengelly said: “As two busy working mothers, writing Riverside Lane was a case of squeezing meetings in between work and everyday life.

“Our novel was written walking our dogs along the Thames in Henley, Marlow and Bray. Sitting at the kitchen table over pots of tea, at the supermarket where we could be found among the aisles discussing murders, stalkers and scandals. Luckily we weren’t arrested!”

Co-author Julia Thum urges would-be authors to give novel writing a go. She said: “Our route to publication was not easy, but working as a team helped us spur each other on.”

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