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12 March 2017

TOP TEN!

Many thanks to everyone who went out and purchased a copy of the latest Teacher novel. I received an email from my agent saying that after the first three days of sales Happiest Days entered the Original Fiction Top Ten at number nine.

It has been a busy time since the launch in Waterstones Leeds on Thursday 26th January. The following evening I was the guest of Vice Chancellor Karen Stanton and senior members of staff at York St John University. During an excellent dinner at Grays Court near the Minster, I was awarded the honorary title of Cultural Fellow of the University. It comes with responsibility and I have agreed to give a series of lectures over the coming years. The first is entitled 'Paperback Writer' on Wednesday 15th March 2017 and has been opened to the public as well as members of the University.

On Saturday 28th January there was a huge queue in Waterstones York and all copies of the novel were sold out in half an hour! I was told more stock would arrive the following week so apologies to those of you who did not manage to obtain a signed copy.

I have since signed in Waterstones SOUTHAMPTON WEST QUAY and Waterstones ALTON and at 1.00 p.m. on Saturday 11th March I was in Festival Place in Basingstoke signing in Waterstones.

Three more talk/signing dates have been added to the diary; namely, St Andrew's Church Hall, Medstead, Hampshire (7.30 p.m. Saturday 27th May); Bentworth Literary Festival, Hampshire (4.00 p.m. Saturday 17th June) and Chatham Library, Kent (7.30 p.m. Tuesday 11th July).

The end of 2016 proved to be an interesting time. Following my speaking events at the prestigious Ilkley Literature Festival and the excellent Hythe Library I returned to York as a guest of York St John University where I was a student many years ago. It was graduation week and I attended Ceremony One in York Minster, an iconic venue for such a special day. The highlight for me was an inspirational speech by Lyse Doucet OBE following her award of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa). Lyse is Chief International Correspondent and Senior Presenter for BBC TV World News and as I write she will be back in war-torn Syria. At the lunch in the Hospitium in the Museum Gardens we were joined by Lizzie Deignan (nee Armistead) born in Otley and a World Champion cyclist along with a surprise guest, Chris Evans, of radio and television fame. With the Archbishop of York saying the Grace before the meal it was a lively and eclectic group of diners!

The successful launch of 'Star Teacher' last year seems a long way off now but sincere thanks to the countless readers, particularly those from Australia, New Zealand and Canada, who have emailed me saying how much they enjoyed the latest novel.

'Happiest Days' moves on to the next academic year, 1986/87, in the life of Ragley School and its headteacher. All the old favourite characters return and another year of tears and laughter (with a dramatic conclusion!) is in store for the villagers of Ragley-on-the-Forest in North Yorkshire.

Recently I've received a number of emails from partially sighted readers who are enjoying the audio editions of the Teacher series. So thank you . . . it is rewarding to think my stories are providing some relaxing entertainment in your lives.

In the meantime I'm busy with a new writing project . . . a prequel to the Teacher series.

Best wishes to you all and thanks again for supporting my writing,

Jack

 8th Oct 2016  Ilkley Literature Festival
 8.00 pm        Clarke Foley Centre
 2nd Nov 2016
 Talk/Book Signing
 7.30 pm
       Hythe Library, Hampshire
             
 2017 events
           
 25th Jan 2017  Live Radio Interview  2.00 pm        BBC Radio York
 26th Jan 2017
 Launch of 'Happiest Days'
 6.30 pm
       Waterstones LEEDS
 27th Jan 2017  Stock signings          Waterstones Huddersfield
 Waterstones Wakefield
 Waterstones Bradford
 Waterstones Harrogate
 28th Jan 2017
 Book Signing
 1.00 pm
       Waterstones YORK
 2nd Feb 2017
 Book Signing
 1.00 pm
       Waterstones SOUTHAMPTON WEST QUAY
 6th Feb 2017  Recording 'Star Teacher'  2 days        Soundings Studio, Whitley Bay
 18th Feb 2017  Book Signing  11.00 am
       Waterstones ALTON
 11th Mar 2017
 Book Signing
 1.00 pm
       Waterstones BASINGSTOKE
 15th Mar 2017
 Lecture 'Paperback Writer'
 2.00 pm
       York St John University
 27th May 2017  Talk/Book Signing  7.30 pm        St Andrew's Church Hall, Medstead, Hants
 17th June 2017  Talk/Book Signing  4.00 pm
       Bentworth Literary Festival, Hants
 11th July 2017
 Talk/Book Signing
 7.30 pm
       Chatham Library, Kent