Author set to visit gallery to speak about her 25th book

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POPULAR author Beryl Kingston will be making her first visit to the Cloudhopper Gallery.

Aldwick resident Beryl has agreed to stage a talk about her latest book in a coup for the venue.

She will be speaking on writing about an artist on April 11 just after her 25th book – Francesca and the Mermaid – has been published.

Her talk will start at 1pm and last until 2pm with a question and answer session. Places will be extremely limited but Beryl will be at the High Street gallery until its 4pm closing time to chat to visitors and sign copies of her book.

Su Cloud, a joint founder of the gallery, said: “It’s quite exciting to have Beryl here. She will be the first author who has staged an event here since we opened two years ago. I know she’s a popular writer and some of her books have been best sellers.”

Beryl’s talk will be free but places must be reserved by emailing cloudhopper.gallery@yahoo.com.

The event will be one of three which Beryl is holding next month to celebrate the arrival of Francesca and the Mermaid in book shops.

The first will be from midday-4pm at Waterstones in Chichester. This will be followed by her talk at Cloudhopper and then a return visit to Bognor Regis library at 7pm on April 15.

Tickets cost £3 each and the price can be redeemed against a copy of Francesca and the Mermaid.

Beryl, 84, said: “I enjoy meeting people and hearing their questions. It gives me the chance to get to know my fans and it’s lovely.

“They can be very outspoken about not liking some books as much as others.”

Beryl has had 25 books published, with her first being a non-fiction work. “Francesca and the Mermaid is my first for three years but I’m already working on the next two, which are a pair,” she said.

“It gets easier, the more you write, because of your experience but it also becomes harder because you don’t want to repeat yourself.

“I hate the thought of doing that. That is why I make my books completely different so the stories go in new directions.

Francesca and the Mermaid is about an artist, which I’ve not done before. I had to get inside the head of an artist and there is also a potter in the story as well.”

The book is published by Buried River Press and centres on Francesca.

She and her self-centred lover are on a cruise, when Francesca sees a mermaid. The sight of it swimming away inspires her to change her life.

She leaves her lover at the end of the cruise, and moves to Lewes, where she embarks on a new career, using her skills as a painter. But freedom brings problems and she has much to learn.