Book Launch of Behind Closed Doors (November 2019)

Who really knows what goes on Behind Closed Doors?

Readers can now get an answer – or at least a peak through the open door …

In November 2019, Lockerbie Writers launched their new book, ‘Behind Closed Doors’. This collection of short stories and poetry is their second publication, following the success of ‘Lockerbie Writers’ Anthology’ in 2016.

The group were delighted to receive a grant from the Scottish Book Trust which allowed them to hold two book launches during Book Week Scotland 2019.

The money was enough to print a batch of copies of this new book which were gifted to everyone who attended either one of the book launches – and there was enough money left over to pay for some amazing bespoke cakes, provided by talented ‘A Novel Approach’ member Laura Mason!

The first of the two launches took place on Thursday 21st November, 6pm, at DG Customer Services Lockerbie (formally Lockerbie Library). Despite the cold dark night, almost twenty people braved the elements to show their support for the group.

This event began with introductions from Lockerbie Writers’ Chairperson Steph Newham, Lockerbie Writers’ Events Manager Kerrie McKinnel, and local writer Vivien Jones who had kindly provided the written introduction for the book.

The introductions were followed by several readings from some of the book’s contributing authors, beginning with Paula Nicolson. Her children’s story features a penguin who struggles with directions, and got lots of laughs and “awws” from the audience!

Next up was Kath J. Rennie, whose story is a nostalgic tale of a woman’s journey from teenage Saturday job through to her wedding anniversary many years later.

Steph Newham returned to the stage to read an extract from her story about an artist and his model.

Afterwards, there was a Q&A with the contributing authors, followed by a chance to chat with the group members – and of course pick up a complimentary copy of the new book and buy additional copies!

At the end of a fantastic launch night, there was just time for a group photo with all of the contributing authors pictured above: (L-R) Rita, Frank, Betsy, Kath, Chris, Steph, Paula and Kerrie. Sadly our ninth author, Deborah Redden, was unable to join us on this occasion, but she was in our thoughts!

On Friday 22nd November 2019 at 2pm, most of the group met again, this time at Annan Town Hall/Library. This second launch attracted approximately thirty-six people – and goodness me, did we have an impressive room to suit the occasion!

Steph Newham, Chairperson, was up first again to introduce the book, followed by Events Manager Kerrie McKinnel.

The group was grateful once more to Vivien Jones, who joined us to provide another introduction and to take questions from the large and enthusiastic audience.

Readings at this event were provided by a different selection of Lockerbie Writers’ members, beginning with Rita Dalgliesh. Her poem, the only one to be featured in this book, is a rhythmic and clever family tale with an Irish backdrop.

Next up was Betsy Henderson, whose nostalgic story of domestic abuse and being widowed during the 1950s drew gasps and smiles in equal measures from the audience.

A special mention must go to both Betsy and Rita, who were reading their writing in public for the first time, and who did extremely well despite their nerves and the large audience. Well done ladies!

Last to read was Christina Openshaw. Her unusual tale features a house as its narrator, and is told over a number of years.

By the end of the second launch, we had given away thirty-four complimentary copies of our new book to members of the local community, and a number of the Book Week Scotland free books and merchandise, as well as meeting a number of enthusiastic writers and offering advice about joining a writing group, how to start writing, and much more.

Our thanks go to the Scottish Book Trust for providing us with the funding to hold these book launches during Book Week Scotland. Thank you to both venues for providing such cosy and welcoming rooms, and to Laura for the cakes! Thanks also go to all members of Lockerbie Writers and A Novel Approach: the contributing authors of course, but also Paula for arranging the venues, posters and much, much more; Laura for the cupcakes; Godfrey for his tireless editing; Frank for suggesting the idea of this book back in 2017 and kicking off the process; Steph for guiding the group through numerous discussions and disagreements on all elements of its conception and publication; and all of the other members for listening to us all going on and on and on about the editing, marketing, launches etc and offering advice and support along the way. Without all of these individual people, this book would not exist.

You can pick up your copy now from – search ‘Behind Closed Doors Lockerbie Writers’.