It’s a first for the new-look Scarborough book festival – a literary dinner hosted at the Town Hall with more new events planned.
The theme for the inaugural feast will be Gothic with guest speaker Lynn Shepherd, whose next novel The Pierced Heart is inpsired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Co-director of Books by the Beach Heather French said: ‘We’re delighted the council is enthusiastic about working with us on a couple of special events.
“The literary dinner is the first to come to fruition and there are other things in the pipeline.”
Lynn’s first three atmospheric mystery and murder novels were all set in the 19th century: Murder at Mansfield Park put homicide into Jane Austen; Tom-All-Alone’s made Dickens’ Bleak House even bleaker;
and A Treacherous Likeness looked at the dark side of the marriage of Percy and Mary Shelley.
“Dinner guests may want to enhance the experience by coming in fancy dress,” said Heather, “though it’s not essential and there will be a prize for the most imaginative costume.”
The literature festival– which comprises Books By The Beach and Scarborough Flare, fringe event – will take place between Thursday April 24 and Sunday April 27.
Already announced are TV historian and Curator of the Royal Palaces Lucy Worsley, broadcasters Peter Snow, James Naughtie and Kate Adie and novelists Joanne Harris, Joanna Trollpe and Margaret Drabble.
Hunmanby-based Wold Top Brewery are already involved in the event – and will be producing a special ale Bestseller and accompanying beer mats.
Fringe festival Scarorough Flare involoves local prose writers, poets and performers and will run alongside Books by the beach.
Heather, who is co-director with Peter Guttridge, said: “The festival brings top writers and broadcasters to Scarborough.
“It’s an opportunity to show them all the town has to offer.”