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Book Extravaganza Success

Poet Patrick Wilden from Dresden, Germany chats to Coventry's Poet Laureate John Bernard. Photo courtesy of the Book Bonanza.

The Book Extravaganza organised by Rosie’s Retro Bazaar and Dexter O’Neill of Phantom Publishing, held in the Belgrade foyer on 6 April saw 35 stalls in total with people from across the Midlands including Coventry, Leicester, Birmingham and Northampton. There were authors, illustrators, bookstands, merchandise and more.

Author stalls featured a very diverse range of genres including romance, local history, travel, crime, sci-fi as well as second-hand books and publishers, craft inspired books, illustrators and comic creators and vintage paraphernalia.                

Plenty of choice. Photo by Ann Evans                            

Organiser Dexter O’Neill said: “We would like the Book Extravaganza to become part of a person’s creative journey. When we first thought about a book event our aim was to make it a place to provide a platform for the individual to showcase their work, an opportunity to network and to serve as a source of inspiration.

“For the customer wondering through the Book Extravaganza we wanted them to stumble across books and products which they wouldn't find in Waterstones and to be able to talk to the authors and creators direct.

“It was important to me that our first Book Extravaganza should take place in Coventry, as I know we have lots of talented individuals that needed a platform - which we were able to do, especially with our panel. On reflection based on comments and feedback we have received since the event, we consider this was achieved which was very encouraging.”

The two youngest authors - Nathan Eze and Lily-Rose Davison. Photo courtesy of The Book Bonanza.

The panel showcased six creatives from Coventry, hosted by Coventry’s well known actor Iain Lauchlan. Both Coventry Poet Laureates, Aamani Khanda and John Bernard shared with us their poetry, and made an incredible impact on the audience.

Aamani who welcomed the opportunity to speak at the event, told how she was inspired to continue working on her collection of poetry to publish her first book which hopefully will be launched at a Book Extravaganza in the near future.

Still on the subject of book launches, guest panellist Amy Clennell launched her accompanying audio version of her poetry book ‘Renaissance’ and by doing so has additionally introduced her work to those who have a print disability. Visitors enjoyed watching an impactful backdrop that accompanied Amy’s poetry which was emotional and breath taking.

A varied array of stalls on the day. Photo courtesy of Ann Evans.

And the book launches just kept on coming, young 9-year-old Nathan Eze held his first book launch on the day! Nathan published an extremely poignant message of being honest, entitled ‘Ruby Don’t Lie’ which tells the story of a 7-year-old girl who gets into trouble through being untruthful.

Also, 9-year-old Lily-Rose Davison told of her experiences of being a finalist in the BBC’s 500-word challenge. She also read a page from her book ‘The Magic Bunny’ which she’d written for a competition. She was pleased as punch to have sold more books that her father, James, who was also signing his book at the event.

The audience were appreciative to have Patrick Wilden from Coventry's twin city Dresden who was on a visit as part of Coventry Dresden Writers Exchange. Patrick told how he had enjoyed Coventry and was impressed by the diversity of our city. He ended by reciting a Dresden poem.

Dexter summed up, “We are returning to the Belgrade in November with a wonderful theme – but I'll remain tight-lipped about that and our other venues which we'll be announcing in the weeks to come.”

More news and events from Phantom Publishing:




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