Waterstones to host literary night with Mancunian author Lara Williams

  • Mancunian author and journalist, Lara Williams, is coming to a Manchester Waterstones to reflect on her new collection of short stories

  • Lara will be joined by Manchester Metropolitan University Masters graduate, Gwendoline Riley

Lara Williams,  Manchester based author, journalist, copywriter, MMU MA graduate and a creative writer teacher at Manchester Metropolitan University – has published a collection of short stories called Treats.

Lara will be joined on March 16 by MMU Masters graduate Gwendoline Riley, an English writer born in London.

The evening will allow Lara to reflect on her collection of short stories: ‘Treats’, while Gwendoline Riley will be discussing her work as her latest novel ‘First Love’ is released.

Speaking to Lara about the event, she said: ‘Gwendoline Riley is one of my all-time favourite writers – I am very excited but also desperately nervous too.”

She continued to tell me about how the evening came about: “The Waterstones Deansgate events manager approached me about the even as he had read my book and thought there would be a nice synergy.”

Lara told us where the idea for the book came from, she said: “I took a Creative Writing MA in which I produced the manuscript which became ‘Treats.”

She then went on to inform me a bit more about her book: “The stories are all relatively short – even for short fiction; and deal with the themes of loss, alienation, self-abnegation and transience.

“I did consider the order; I wanted the boom to feel textured and varied, in themes of length and them.

“Short story collections are a notoriously hard sell; readers aren’t hugely interested in them and publishers are reticent in picking them up, so yes, I was very surprised to have published my debut book, and for it to be a collection of short fiction.”

Treats has been nominated for the Saboteur Award, Edinburgh first book award and Republic of Consciousness Prize.

Not only has Lara been a major success in the UK, but her book is set to release in the US in October 2017.

Lara said: “I am incredibly excited. The book is coming out in hardback in the US and I am very, very excited about that.”

The American publication has a few changes to the UK publication, the name has been changed to A Selfie As Big As The Ritz.

Lara explained: “They thought ‘Treats’ wouldn’t resonate with a US audience.

“The cover will be different, and I imagine, so will the jacket quotes.”

Talking about how the name is different to the original name, Lara told me that she does like the American name, she said: “It began as a sort of a joke (a play on the F Scott Fitzgerald short story, A Diamond As Big As The Ritz) but I’ve grown quite attached to it now.”

Lara will be at Waterstones Deansgate 16th March, from 18:30, tickets are £3 and available here. Ticket price includes a glass of wine or soft drink.