Author battles floods to visit book shop

Renowned Yorkshire author Gervase Phinn persevered through rising floodwaters and a blackout to attend a book signing in Whitby last Thursday.

The author managed to sign books by candlelight as he publicised the launch of his two latest books.

“This is a unique experience,” said the Rotherham-born author of 99 books. “But a father and son drove from Lincolnshire to be here. It would have been awful if they had driven all that way for nothing.”

Despite living in Doncaster, Gervase only had a short journey to make to arrive at Whitby Bookshop.

He owns a holiday cottage near Staithes, but despite having no telephone, radio or television, he said this is not where the majority of his writing is done.

He explained: “I have a studio that looks over the sea, so I can’t concentrate. The beach changes every day and I spend hours just looking at it.”

Mr Phinn sets his latest novel, The School Inspector Calls, in the fictional village of Barton-in-the-Dale, but he does have an affection for the Whitby area.

“I do love North Yorkshire and I come up to Whitby frequently,” he said. “It’s one of the most wonderful, unspoilt areas on the coast and I love the atmosphere.

“It would be unfair to call it quaint because it’s got a real character to it.”

The novel is the third Little Village School novel and Mr Phinn said he believes his novels are popular because they are observational, rather than action-packed.

“There’s no sex, no swearing and no violence. Instead it’s a heartwarming novel which is amazing and poignant.”

Gervase Phinn’s Mangled English on the other hand is a comic book discussing the misuse of the English language, something close to his heart.

Mr Phinn said: “Both books are doing very well and my only hope is they make people smile.”

Both books are available from Whitby Bookshop on Church Street.