Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Phaedra Patrick's Imaginary Bookshop

Today we welcome Phaedra Patrick to Writer's Little Helper to take part in the latest Imaginary Bookshop Q&A. Phaedra's debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper came out last week, and would appeal to fans of A Man Called Ove and The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.



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What would be the name of your imaginary bookshop?

My bookshop will be called Once Upon a Time. It’s the first line that everyone learns when reading books.

Where would your imaginary bookshop be located?
It will be close to my home in Saddleworth, surrounded by hills and by the side of the canal so that passers-by can drop in, grab a coffee and browse through some gorgeous books whilst watching
canal boats drift by.

Would your bookshop have any special features?

In the middle of the shop will be a Princess and the Pea style bed, piled high with mattresses. A long
ladder will allow customers to climb up to the top, to settle down to read a book. The bookshop will
have low squashy leather sofas with lots of coloured cushions, and large glass windows to let in lots
of light.

What would make your bookshop different from all of the other ones?

I love the idea of the bookshop being a community hub, for people to drop in and to get to know each
other, whilst sharing their love of books. I’ll host a monthly book-swap so customers can get together,
to pass on a book that they’ve read and loved in exchange for one that they haven’t yet discovered.

What sections would you have in your bookshop? Are there any traditional sections you’d do away with?
It’s a smallish bookshop so I can’t feature all sections but I’ll definitely stock books that have a touch
of magic about them, which transport you away from everyday life. I especially love books about
street art and murals, and books about modern jewellery design. If I have to get rid of any traditional
sections then my least favourite subjects at school would have to go – science, history and maths.

Every bookshop needs a display table. Which books would you have on your display table? Why?
I shall display my favourite authors on a large refectory-style table at the front of the shop. Anything
by Lucy Clarke, Sarah Addison-Allen and Antoine Laurain will have a great spot, as will Nina George’s Little Paris Bookshop. I’ll also add a few beautiful art books to browse through and, of course, I’ll display a few copies of my own book too.

If you could run only one author event who would you have? You can pick a living or dead writer. What sort of event would they run?
My author event will be with Joanne Harris as her book Chocolat was a big influence on my writing. I’d invite her to read from her favourite work and host a Q&A with an audience. My own question would be to ask Joanne how she felt when she first saw her book on the big screen.

A customer comes up to your till with a copy of your novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and asks you to give them a reason on why they should buy it. What would you say?
I’d tell them that the book is about an elderly widower who finds a mysterious charm bracelet in his
late wife’s wardrobe. He sets off on a journey to discover, charm-by-charm, his wife’s secret life before they met. I’d say that it’s a poignant, funny, warm and life-affirming read.


What sort of cake would you offer when launching your book in your bookshop?
My favourite is lemon drizzle cake, so I’d offer that for others to eat too, though I’ll probably save the biggest piece for myself!

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You can buy The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper from your favourite bookshop.


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