Preston’s fiction fans were treated to an audience with prize winning novelist Jenn Ashworth on Wednesday evening. The hour long event was hosted by Waterstone’s book shop on Fishergate.
Following on from her first two books, Cold Light and A kind of Intimacy, Jenn’s latest offering is a fictional account of a day in the life of a Mormon family from Chorley. The Friday Gospels draws on Jenn’s own experience of growing up in a Mormon family in Preston. She was a member of the Mormon Church until she was fifteen but she insists that her latest novel is in no way autobiographical saying:
“There were no real similarities between my life and the book – it is so much more dramatic than mine ever was!”
Judging by the reviews of her latest book, Jenn’s writing career is continuing to flourish and her work is attracting much attention in literary circles.
‘A sympathetic, forgiving and absorbing portrait of family life. It is Ashworth’s most confident work yet and one which strengthens her reputation as an author worth watching.’
Beth Jones, The Telegraph on Sunday
‘Utterly, compulsively readable, The Friday Gospels could be this award-winning young author’s best novel yet.’
Alison Flood – The Sunday Times
Despite suffering the after effects of a cold, Jenn managed to soldier on reading an extract from her latest work for the attentive audience. This was followed by a question and answer session where it became obvious that several members of the audience had already read her latest book. Jenn answered questions about her writing style, her experience of the Mormon faith and her use of Lancashire locations as the settings for her books. Jenn also shared a tale of her visit to Salt Lake City while researching for The Friday Gospels. Upon hearing Jenn’s accent, a stranger in a book shop asked her where she was from and before she’d had chance to answer he said:
“You’re not from Preston are you?”
She was amazed that out in the desert of Utah people know where Preston is! This is because of the close links between the Mormon Church and the Preston area. Lancashire has historically had a sizable community of Mormons with their headquarters at the Mormon Temple in Chorley. Jenn also gave the audience a tantalising glimpse into her next project that is due to be set around a disused Lido at Grange-over-Sands!
The enjoyable evening ended with Jenn signing copies of her latest book and I have no doubt that Preston’s own literary rising star will continue to captivate readers with her superbly crafted novels.
Did you go to the book launch? Have you read any of Jenn’s books? Let us kno in the comments below