THE busy 10th anniversary year of the Waverton Good Read Award continued with 2012 winner Christie Watson, author of Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, attending a presentation dinner to receive her £1,000 prize.
After accepting her award from Gwen Cleverly from Chester Literature Festival, Christie, who has also won the Costa First Novel Award, held the full attention of the capacity audience at Eaton Golf Club as she talked of the inspiration behind her novel, set in Nigeria, the home of her husband.
Taking in the poverty of life in the Niger delta, the book deals with many contemporary and perhaps controversial issues but with a warmth and humanity that makes the book acceptable to a wide readership, according to organisers of the Good Read.
Christie trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital and worked for more than 10 years as a children’s nurse.
Having left school at 16 without any A-levels, she was delighted to be accepted on to the University of East Anglia Creative Writing Course, a springboard for many successful novelists. While on the course she developed a short story into her novel, which was accepted by publishers.
The author continues with her day jobs as a nurse and mother to three.
She says most her work begins with a burning issue and she writes every day, including Christmas.
Waverton Good Read Award’s next event is an evening meeting at Waverton Primary School on Monday, November 26, when the guest speaker will be Deborah Morgan, author of Disappearing Home.