Gervase Phinn, Yorkshire man and author of the Dales series, was in Lincoln this week promoting his debut full length novel The Little Village School.
As the fans queued up down the aisles of Waterstone’s on the High Street, Phinn had the whole store in fits of laughter, bantering with the customers and sharing some of his hilarious anecdotes.
Here promoting his latest book and debut full length fiction title, Phinn admitted that Lincoln has a particular hold on him.
“I’ve got an honorary doctorate from Leicester University, a Doctor of Letters that was actually conferred upon me at the wonderful Cathedral at Lincoln.
“I love coming to Lincoln, it’s a fantastic city. It’s not Yorkshire, of course, but it’s a rich and vibrant city and I do love coming here.”
Not only does Phinn enjoy visiting the city but in the past he has worked closely with schools in the area, helping to inspire literary talent and put his expertise in education to good use.
“I’ve worked in some brilliant schools around here. I have been to William Farr and Yarborough where I did some work with the youngsters.”
Phinn is best known for his hugely successful Dales series of autobiographical books exploring his years working as a teacher and a school inspector, in Yorkshire.
He has also written a lot of children’s poetry and a few humour titles, but The Little Village School is his first full length novel and already seems set to achieve great success.
“I’ve done a few children’s titles and a novella called All These Lonely People, which sold very well but this is my first effort at a full novel”
“It’s in the style of my writing, life affirming, optimistic, and amusing as well as a few poignant parts. It is centred on one little village school in the Dales.
“My other books, the Dales books, were made as an itinerary around different schools. This is centred on one particular school.”
Phinn states that writing this book was a completely new experience for him, written in the third person, the book follows the lives of several strong female characters.
Phinn explains that this is very different to writing in the first person about his own experiences. By taking a step back, Phinn argues that you can sympathise with the characters more.
He said: “It’s the only occasion where I have actually wept at my own writing.”
The Little Village School is the start of a new phase in Phinn’s writing career and we look forward to seeing him return to promote his next title.