We do all sorts of book promotion work, especially talks and interviews. If you are interested in inviting us to do a talk or interview, or to write a magazine or newspaper feature, please contact us through this website (on the Contact Us page).
We have two more illustrated talks to give in 2023. The first is related to our book Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England:
Exeter, Devon, Wednesday 22 November 2023: ‘Everyday Life in Jane Austen’s England’ from 10.45am to 11.45am. Venue: The Mint Methodist Church, Fore Street, Exeter, EX4 3AT. This talk is in the programme of the group called ‘The Exeter Forum’, but everyone is welcome (the hall is large), with a fee of £4 for non-members.
We are also giving a talk in December, based on our book Jack Tar:
Tiverton, Devon, Thursday 14 December 2023: ‘Jack Tar: Life in Nelson’s Navy’ from 2.00pm to 3.00pm. Venue: Cherith Hall, Blundells Road, Tiverton, EX16 4BZ. This talk is in the programme of the Local History Group of the Exe Valley U3A.
Take a look at our Newsletter 68 for our events at the Calpe 2023 conference in Gibraltar (on the Great Siege), at the launch of the Exeter Heritage Harbour Festival (on Jack Tar) and at the London branch of the Jane Austen Society (on All at Sea with Jane Austen).
One very enjoyable event was at the brilliant seaside Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, on the first day. You can read about it in our Newsletter 66.
Before the pandemic, our very last talk was at the annual conference of the Jane Austen Society (UK) at Basingstoke, in Jane Austen’s home county of Hampshire.We discussed her two naval brothers, Charles and Francis (Frank), and were gratified by the wonderful response, especially as this was the first time we had ever dealt with that subject. We also give talks on ‘When There Were Birds’, ‘Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History’, ‘Jack Tar’, ‘Trafalgar’, ‘Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England’, and ‘All at Sea With the Austens’.
For our talks, we tend to do a double act with a Powerpoint presentation, so that we can share with the audience various fascinating photographs from our travels and research. This format has proved very effective. If we are able to drive to an event, then we can bring along equipment such as a projector and screen, though many venues do have their own equipment.
Venues for talks vary considerably in scale, from bookstores to theatres, literary festivals and vast cruise ships. Literary and history festivals are an especially good way of introducing readers to our books.
“Very polished and entertaining” J J Alcantara (former mayor
of Gibraltar writing in Gibraltar Chronicle)
We have been fortunate to take part in events at the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival, Henley Literary Festival, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, Appledore Book Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, West Meon Festival of Books, English Heritage’s History Live!, Ways With Words at Dartington, Ilkley Literature Festival, Penzance Literary Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival, Bridport Literary Festival, Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature, Off the Shelf at Sheffield, Theatre Royal at Bath, Lancaster Historical Writing Festival, the Jane Austen Society (as well as branches in the South-West and in Kent), the Jane Austen Festival at Bath, the Friends of Gibraltar, U3A, the Devon and Exeter Institution, yacht clubs, libraries, museums, art centres, bookstores and much more.
Ways With Words literary festival at Dartington in Devon
We were very pleased to be invited to launch the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival in November 2017, giving the first talk of the festival, and then to be invited back to the 2018 festival. This is one of the most prestigious annual literary festivals, taking place in a remarkable location on the southern edge of Europe. It is not restricted to those living on Gibraltar, but is open to visitors from Spain, Britain and beyond. The 2017 festival extended over four days, and several different venues were used, including the historic Garrison Library. You can read more in our newsletter 51.
Garrison Library, Gibraltar
At the 2018 festival, we gave two talks, both of which were in the Convent (the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar, and the headquarters of George Augustus Eliott during the Great Siege). One was on ‘Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History’, and the other was on the Battle of Trafalgar, in which Gibraltar played a key role. For further details, see the festival website here. You can see some further details on our blog post here.
We do radio interviews from time to time, and for When There Were Birds, we did two lengthy interviews, one with Giles Coren on Times Radio and one with Steve Yabsley (himself a very keen birdwatcher) on BBC Radio Bristol. One enjoyable occasion for Gibraltar was on BBC Radio Devon, being interviewed by Fitz (David Fitzgerald), who describes his morning programme as being “for music and conversation about Devon from Devon”. We had met him a few months earlier in Gibraltar, as he was also at the literary festival there. Another memorable interview was with Dave Hodgson, presenter of ‘The Daily’ for Talk Radio Europe, based near Malaga in Spain. You can listen to the interview on this podcast. We have been previously interviewed by Giles Brown of the ‘Let’s Talk’ show for the same radio station. We have also appeared on the American Eric Metaxas show, and you can hear the interview here. Push the slider to about 39.43, as that’s where it starts. Eric Metaxas is a bestselling author, and his show focuses on religious books, so we were looking forward to discussing religion during the siege. Unfortunately the sound engineer had problems, so that instead of it being a 40 minute interview, it was cut after 10 minutes. If you can’t bear to listen to the poor sound quality, then just heed Eric’s final words – ‘grab a copy’!
We were interviewed by Patrick Geoghegan (professor of modern history at Trinity College, Dublin), on the ‘Talking History’ programme for Newstalk Radio in January, and he described Gibraltar as ‘a brilliant book and a brilliant story’. This is a wonderful book programme, devoted to history books, the best we’ve ever come across. This particular programme was ‘Best of January Books‘, and you can still hear it as a podcast at www.newstalk.com/Best-of-January-Books. It comes up with a picture of ‘The Canterbury Tales. Click on ‘Listen Now’. Ours is the first book featured, and the interview is about 10 minutes long. Other radio interviews have included one for the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation, and several for local BBC radio stations and for National Public Radio stations in America.
A display at a talk for ‘The War for All the Oceans’
Book signing at Hatchards in London
Lancaster Historical Writing Festival
Henley Literary Festival festival hub
Bookstore staff dress up for one of our talks